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Bible 

and 

Church 
Music. 



J. ASTON WH1TL0CK, M.A. 



FROM THE LIBRARY OF 

REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON. D. D 

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO 
THE LIBRARY OF 
PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 




Section 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/habiblecOOwhit 




• LAY PIPE FROM BABYLON, THE MOST ANCIENT YET FOUND, 
APPARENTLY MODELLED TO IMITATE THE SKULL OF SOME 
ANIMAL. IT STILL SOUNDS CLEARLY THE INTERVALS OF THE 
COMMON CHORD. ( E. ) 



OF Pfi/ZV^ 

A HANDBOOK OF ^ JAN " 8 1933 J 

BIBLE AND CHURCH AWSlCl^ 



Part I. 

Patriarchal and Hebrew Mtisical Instruments and Terms : 
The Temple Service: Headings of the Psalms. 

Part II. 

A Short Sketch of Ecclesiastical Music, from the Earliest Christian 
Times to the Days of Palestrina and Pure ell. 



REV. J. ASTON WHITLOCK, M.A, 

Late Vicar of Holy Rood, a/id Chaplain of God's House, Southampton. 



il I1 1 o 




JUBAL'S (PROBABLE) ORGAN. 



PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE TRACT COMMITTEE. 



SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. 
LONDON: Northumberland Avenue, W. C. 
Brighton : 129, North Street. 
New York : E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO. 

1898. 



PREFACE. 



This little Handbook is intended as a com- 
pendium of information, drawn from various 
authorities such as, to most readers, are not 
always readily accessible. Unfortunately no 
treatise on Hebrew or on ancient Oriental music 
has as yet been discovered ; and the only monu- 
mental record delineating Jewish musical in- 
struments is the sculpture on the arch of Titus 
at Rome. We have to be content, therefore, in 
a great measure with very scanty and meagre 
sources of knowledge — sometimes the probable 
derivation of words and terms, sometimes the 
uncertain and often untrustworthy voice of 
tradition. 

With regard to Ecclesiastical Music we 
stand on somewhat firmer ground. The diffi- 
culties are of another kind. For though ancient 
and modern music may be based on the same 
first principles, yet the musical methods of the 
present day are, and indeed have been for many 
past years, so different from those of our fore- 



6 



PREFACE. 



fathers, that it is not at all easy to make 
exposition and explanation quite clear to the 
uninstructed mind ; the more so as this com- 
pilation is to be regarded as a Handbook, with 
something of the nature of a Concordance com- 
bined, and not as a " Catechism of Music." 
Nevertheless it is hoped that, in spite of its 
deficiencies and imperfections, it may in some 
degree fulfil its purpose and be helpful to the 
reader. 

The illustrations marked "E" have been taken 
specially for this work from Carl Engel's inter- 
esting History of the Music of Ancient Nations, 
by the kind permission of Mr. John Murray, the 
publisher. 

10, The Close, 

Winchester. 



CONTENTS. 





PART I. 






MUSIC, PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW. 




CHAP. 




PAGE 


I. 




9 


II. 


General Division of Musical Instruments 


12 


III. 


Occasions when Music was used 


18 


IV. 


Music of the Tabernacle ..... 


24 


V. 


David — Kirjath-jearim — Obed-edom — Jerusalem 27 


VI. 


Arrangements of Temple-Music 


36 


VII. 


Temple-Music in subsequent times . 


45 


VIII. 


General Summary 


48 


IX. 


Details of Musical Instruments 


5i 


X. 


Superscriptions of Psalms — (i) Single Terms, 






(ii) Descriptions, (iii) Musical Directions, 






(iv) Songs of Degrees, (v) Conclusion 


68 




PART II. 






ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 




I. 


Music ln Apostolic and sub- Apostolic Times 


85 


II. 


Basis of Ecclesiastical Music 


9* 


III. 


St. Ambrose and St. Gregory the Great . 


94 


IV. 


Ecclesiastical Music abroad. Palestrina 


100 


V. 


Ecclesiastical Music in England. Henry 






Purcell 


104 


VI. 


Brief Summary of Foreign Dates 


109 


VII. 


,, ,, English Dates 


in 


VIII. 


Music as an Influence ..... 


113 



8 



CONTENTS. 



PAOK 

Appendix I. Simple Explanation of Early Musical 

Notation ...... 123 

II. The Ambrosian and Gregorian System . 125 

III. Specimens of Jewish Melodies 128,132 4 

IV. The Bagpipe . . . . . .129 

V. Epitaphs on Henry Purcell in West- 
minster Abbey . . . . .131 

Supplement to Appendix III . . .132 



AUTHORITIES. 

D. Smith's Dictionary of the Bible. 

E. Engel's Music of the Most Ancient Nations. 

G. Sir George Grove's Dictionary of Music. 
Ges. Gesenius' Hebrew and ChaJdee Lexicon. 

H. Hope's Mediaeval Music. (By Robert Charles Hope. 

F.S.A., F.RS.L.) 
M. Dean Mil man's Histories. 
R. Rockstro's History of Music. 

W. Canon Wilson's English-H< hrcw and Chaldee Covcoulavrr. 
Sept. or LXX. = Septuagint. 

Vulg. = Vulgate. St. Jerome's Latin Translation of the 
Bible. 

I am also indebted for much information to Bishop 
Wordsworth's and the Speaker's Commentaries ; also to other 
commentaries and encyclopaedias (often without any author's 
or editor's name attached), to Dean Stanley's Lectures on th<> 
Jewish CJiurch, to Mr. Armfield on the Gradual Psalms, and to 
many books and reviews met with in public and private 
libraries. 



BIBLE AND CHURCH MUSIC. 



PART I. 

Patriarchal and Hebrew Musical 
Instruments and Terms. 

CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY. 

"Jubal, Lamech's son, 
That mortal frame, whereon was first begun 
The immortal Life of Song. 1 " 

George Eliot. 

i. If the reader will open his Bible at Gen. iv. 
17-26, he will find that Adam and Eve had two 
sons born to them, named Cain and Seth. From 
the first sprang a long line of descendants, who, 
unhappily for themselves, " lived without God 
in the world," and ultimately " perished and 
came to a fearful end " (St. Matt. xxiv. 38, 39). 



IO PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 

Yet this godless generation was notable, as the 
Sacred Record attests, for remarkable discoveries 
and inventions ; and their era, which must have 
stretched over many centuries, was singularly 
marked by a striking progress and development 
of the arts and sciences. " Cain builded a city." 
Tubal-cain was " an instructor of every artificer 
in brass and iron." Jabal " was the father of 
such as dwell in tents, and of such as have 
cattle." Jubal "was the father of all such as 
handle the harp and organ." 

2. From the second son, Seth, sprang a suc- 
cession of generations, to whose personal piety, 
in more than one instance, the inspired historian 
bears the strongest testimony. Quite early there 
is mention of either a special revelation of God, 
or (what is more probable) a revival of the 
true religion : for we are told that during the 
days of Enos, the grandson of Adam and Eve, 
" then began men to call upon the Name of the 
Lord." 

3. From what has been said we may observe : 

(1) ' ; That scientific invention has always gone 
on with the revelation of spiritual truths " (Lord 
Beaconsfield) ; and 

(2) That, through the intercommunication and 
interlacing of these two great primaeval families, 
music in the Bible has always assumed, more or 
less, a religious aspect, whether it be on occasions 
of joy or sorrow in the tribe or in the family ; 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. II 



and occupies a large part in the private and 
public worship of God, until it finds its highest 
consummation and development in the ornate 
services of the first Temple. 



Jubal is the great root of all similar words betokening 
sounds of joy, alarm, &c. Cf. jol, jobl, jodl ; Swed. iolcn ; 
Dutch ioelen ; Greek oXoXvfav, d\a\a(eiv. The primary syl- 
lable jo— "crying out." "Jubilee" is the Holy Day pro- 
claimed by the sound of the trumpets (Lev. xxv. 9, 10, 11; 
Ges. and W.). 



CHAPTER II. 



GENERAL DIVISION OF MUSICAL 
INSTRUMENTS. 

Vocal music was of course antecedent to 
Instrumental music : for the voice existed before 
the instrument. Dancing, which in the Bible 
is associated with many religious acts, is natu- 
rally coincident with it. Its origin may be 
reasonably traced to the bounding and jumping 
of boys and girls, when in the exuberance of 
their young life they listened to the rapid 
sequence of musical sounds. The beating of 
time by the musicians with their feet, as deline- 
ated in Assyrian and Egyptian sculptures, may 
possibly have suggested the more elaborate de- 
velopment of this art. But we need not dwell 
longer on this point. It is alluded to in this 
place simply because dancing is peculiarly an 
Oriental feature of rejoicing on religious occa- 
sions. It was admitted also as a sacred adjunct 
in the primitive Christian Church, and is still con- 
tinued in some Roman Catholic countries (E.). 

i . The first and primaeval musical instru- 
ments must have been of the simplest kind. 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 1 3 

A hollow reed, uttering, when blown with the 
mouth, one monotonous sound would be the 
first successful attempt at such an invention. 
The next step was to vary the sound by per- 
forating it with holes, like to our " Penny 




SINGLE PERFORATED PIPE. FROM PERSEPOLIS. (E. ) 

Whistle." Then, put tivo such pipes into the 
mouth, and you get the double Egyptian and 
Assyrian pipe, such as may be still seen sculp- 
tured on their monuments. In the holes or 
apertures of some of these pipes, which have 



'4 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



been discovered in the tombs and other places, 
small straws have been found, plainly intended 
to act the part of reeds in our modern oboes and 
clarionets. Next, tie a number of these pipes 
together, and there is the Syrinx or Pandean- 
pipe. Rightly or wrongly, this is regarded as 
Jubal's ' ; Organ," Heb. ugab, Sept. taOapa, Vulg. 
o'rganum (see title-page). Lastly, place this Pan- 
dean-pipe into a box, as represented on a sculp - 




DOUBLE PIPE. 



tured monument in the museum at Aries, and you 
have at once the germ of our modern organ. 

We pass now from wind to stringed instru- 
ments. 

2. The history of the Harp may be traced 
with much the same clearness. The twanging 
of the bow probably suggested the original idea ; 
and the variation of sound was obtained by 
lengthening and shortening a multiplicity of 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



T 5 



strings. These were made, at first, of some 
fibrous material, or the long hair of animals. 
Perhaps even the tresses of wives and daughters 
were turned to such musical use, as we read in 
the Greek and Roman historians that the bows 
of the Carthaginians were thus supplied with 
strings in their last war with the Romans. 
Harps, too, like the bow, were portable, about 
four feet long ; and all Oriental harps, so far as 




EGYPTIAN HARP, SHOWING ITS ORIGINAL BOW-LIKE SHAPE. 

we can judge from surviving sculptures, unlike 
ours, had no front pillar. Their bow-like 
shape and characteristics long remained. Without 
entering at greater length on their further and 
later development, we can easily imagine how 
soon the need of pegs for tightening and loosening 
the strings was felt ; how a sounding-board was 
found to add to the body of sound ; how strings 
of fibre or hair were supplanted by those of 



1 6 PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 

catgut, of steel, and even of silver. Whether 
the fingers or whether the quill and plectrum 
were the first manipulators of the strings, is 
a matter of debate. Certainly fingers were 
made long before either quills or plectra ! Be 
it as it may, after these latter had been intro- 
duced, hammers wielded by the hand in due 
time followed. And thus we see how the 
"stringed instruments" of primaeval and ancient 
days became the parent of the dulcimer, the 
spinet, the harpsichord, and the piano. 

3. We now naturally pass from wind and 
stringed instruments to those which are beaten. 
These are the timbrel, tabret, tambourine, and 
drum. To these may be added their very near re- 
lations the cymbal, the triangle (1 Sam. xviii. 6, 
R.V. marg.), and castanets (2 Sam. vi. 5, R.V., 
for " cornets " A.V.). The origin of such is not 
far to seek. It may be traced perhaps to 
youthful Jubals " drumming on the table," or 
to youthful Jabals clashing pieces of wood 
together, as accompaniments to their uncle's 
musical efforts when piping to their father's 
flocks and herds. From wood it is but one step 
to a bladder, and from that to a hide or dried 
and tanned skin. This, stretched upon a frame, 
forms the type of all " Corybantean " instru- 
ments ; and though the word "drum" does not 
actually appear in the Bible, yet there can 
be little doubt that the Hebrew term Toph 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



17 



includes those small " hand-drums " which are 
depicted on the Egyptian and Assyrian monu- 
ments, and which are still in use in India (E.), 
something like our modern " kettledrum " (see 

PP- 58, 59)- _ 

4. One kind of musical instrument must, 
however, be rigidly excluded, viz. the violin, 
and all such as are played with a bow. The 
Bible knows nothing of them, nor does any monu- 
ment in Egypt or Assyria. In a later chapter 
the reader will find that he must go far beyond 
Palestine and its neighbours to meet with the 
" fiddle and the bow." Its invention is attri- 
buted to a certain king of Ceylon, who reigned 
some five thousand years ago ! It was called 
a ki Ravanastron." 



Muzio Clementi is called the "father of the pianoforte." 
He was born at Rome in 1752, and died at Evesham in 1832. 
He was buried in the cloisters of Westminster Abbey, where 
the visitor will find a stone commemorating his achieve- 
ments. 



B 



CHAPTER III 



OCCASIONS WHEN MUSIC WAS USED. 

This chapter will be devoted to the Place*. 
Times, and Occasions when these instruments 
were used, from the earliest ages to the days 
of King David. 

i. It is surely not a mere fantasy of the 
imagination to suppose that the first pipings 
would be heard among the flocks and sheepfolds. 
Many a prolonged trill would a shepherd utter 
in his nightly solitude as his woolly charge lay 
around in peaceful repose. Or he would have 
a willing audience in his listening brother-shep- 
herds, who 

" On the lawn, 
Or e'er the point of dawn, 
Sat simply chatting in a rustic row." 

So would they "cheat the toil and cheer the 
way," and while away the time. 

Such a picture is evidently presented to us. 
though under the form of chiding words, in 
Judges v. 1 6, "Why satest thou among the 
sheepfolds, to hear the pipings for the flocks?'' 
(R. V.) — a rebuke specially suited for Reuben. 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



which was pre-eminently a rude, pastoral tribe, 
settled in or close by the rich pastures of 
Gilead. 

2. Then music soon found a necessary and 
accustomed place in seasons of joy. One of 
the earliest intimations of this is noted in Job 
xxi. 12, "They sing to the timbrel and harp, 
and rejoice at the sound of the pipe" (R.V.). 
This again reminds us of the children in the 
market-place, who complained to their com- 
panions, " We have piped unto you, and ye 
have not danced" (St. Matt. xi. 16, 17). In 
harmony with this coincides what we may call 
the first historical mention of music after the 
days of Jubal : c< Wherefore didst thou flee 
away secretly, and steal away from me ; and 
didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee 
away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret. 
and with harp?" (Gen. xxxi. 27). With this 
reproachful musical " Vale " to Jacob on the 
part of the churlish Laban corresponds the 
musical "Ave" to the returned Prodigal, which 
fell so harshly and discordantly on the elder 
brother's ear. " As he came and drew nigh to 
the house, he heard music and dancing : ' (St. 
Luke xv. 25). Lastly, it was on the occasion 
of a great feast that ' ; the children of Benjamin 
took them wives of the daughters of Shiloh 
who came out to dance in the dances" in some 
open spot surrounded by vineyards in Shiloh 
B 2 



20 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



(Judges xxi. 19 to end). No doubt the dancing 
was accompanied with the voices of the damsels, 
and with the beating and shaking of timbrels. 

3. The next natural step for the use of music 
would be that of victory and triumph. The 
first notice of this kind is the song of Miriam. 
And here we may rightly conjecture the intro- 
duction of an Egyptian, and therefore cultured 
element. {i Miriam took a timbrel in her hand, 




DAMSELS SINGING TO THE SOUND OF TIMBKELS. 



and all the women went out after her with 
timbrels and with dances " (Exod. xv. 20). Then 
in the next verse we are told that " Miriam 
answered them" (ver. 21). By this expression 
we are evidently to understand that Miriam and 
her companions sang alternately — the former 
led with a solo, and then the latter took up the 
melody and responded in chorus. As this is 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 21 



the translation both of the Authorized and Re- 
vised Versions we may assume it is correct. 
The LXX. renders the words, e^ijpx^ avrtiv 
Mapthn kzyovcra k. t. A. ; the Vulgate, " quibus 
praeeinebat dicens," &c. In this way, too, we 
are evidently to interpret the Psalmist's words, 
"The singers go before" — i.e. first sing, give 
the melody, raise the chant — '"the minstrels 
follow after," i. e. take it up and follow on with 
instrumental descant (Ps. lxviii. 25). 

The next instance of vocal, with probably some 
instrumental, music after a victory, is the Song 
of Deborah and Barak (Judges v). Nor must 
we omit the unfortunate instance of Jephthah's 
daughter who came out to meet her father, to 
celebrate his victory over the children of Am- 
nion, " with timbrels and with dances " (Judges 
xi). Nor does this exhaust the list (see for 
example 1 Sam. xviii. 5-8). But we ought to 
add that curious song of joy and triumph which 
Israel uttered after a successful contest with the 
dry and rocky earth of the desert, " Spring up, 
O well : sing ye unto it : the well which the 
princes digged, which the nobles of the people 
delved, with the sceptre and with their staves :J 
(Num. xxi. 16-18). 

4. The highest step where we may pause for 
a moment is that of Divine Worship. Even 
heathen tribes and nations seem to infer by a 
natural instinct that the Deity can be acceptably 



22 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



approached and appeased by music, dancing, 
and singing. The first instance, half pagan, in 
the history of the Israelites, is to be found in the 
lamentable festival of the golden calf. So rude 
and wild was the singing of its votaries, that at 
first it was not distinguishable from the untutored 
noise of undisciplined warriors, shouting for the 
battle (Exod. xxxii). But God, from whom all good 
things do come, who dowered the brain of man 
with the power of music, and his heart with love 
for it, so ordered its growth, that as time went 
on musical art progressed also. It received, so 
to say, its first consecration by being included 
in the sacred services of the Tabernacle. It 
was now raised to high dignity, though it is 
evident from the Pentateuch that so long as 
Jewish worship was confined " within curtains," 
it must have been of the simplest character. 
We must wait until the days of King David, the 
great harpist and " sweet psalmist of Israel," if 
we would note the impetus which music then 
undoubtedly received, and the careful elabora- 
tion which it passed through to make it worthy 
of fulfilling its hio-h functions in the sacred ser- 
vices of the Temple. The sacred fane, with all its 
accompaniments, was, so far as human imperfec- 
tion would allow, to be worthy of Jehovah. Its 
music and singing were therefore lifted above 
the ordinary and commonplace level, because 
the " House " that was to be builded for the 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 23 

Lord "must be exceeding magnifical" (i Chron. 
xxii. 5). 

In the next chapter a few words will be said 
of the music of the Tabernacle ; and this will be 
a fitting introduction to that of the Temple, which 
will have to be explained with some minute 
detail. 



CHAPTER IV. 



MUSIC OF THE TABERNACLE. 

It is worth observing how Holy Scripture 
describes the lives of men in very ancient times 
as being passed in the conscious, and indeed 
almost in the visible, presence of Jehovah. Of 
course we are not surprised at this during the 
sinless days of Paradise. But for many genera- 
tions after the Fall men and their affairs are 
still written of as though, in spite of sin, com- 
munication between heaven and earth was 
nevertheless unbroken — as though the ancien* 
world and its inhabitants were surrounded by 
a celestial atmosphere. Cain, after the death of 
Abel, is said to go out "from the presence of 
Jehovah." Noah and Enoch " walk with God." 
Jehovah " communed with Abraham." Jacob 
sees " God at the top of the ladder and His 
angels ascending and descending upon it." On 
his journey angels meet and salute him. He 
wrestles with an angel. Other instances need 
not be adduced. He and his sons go down into 
Egypt, and in due course their descendants are 
there afflicted for four hundred years (see Gen. 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 25 



xv. 13). During this period of iron bondage, 
degradation followed upon slavery, and the 
knowledge and worship of God seem almost to 
have perished. At any rate, we are warranted 
from the early chapters of Exodus to infer a new 
revelation of Jehovah, as the true and only God 
— the God of their fathers before them, and 
henceforth to be their God (cf. chs. ii, iii, iv al.). 
His eternal existence was pictured to Israel in 
a twofold manner — by the ;< cloud " of the 
Shechinah visibly present at the door of the 
Tabernacle, and by the same Shechinah resting 
upon the ark in the Holy of Holies — according 
to the words of the Psalmist — " O Thou, that 
dwellest between the cherubims " ^Pss. lxxx. i, 
xcix. 1). 

The sacrificial ordinances taught and reminded 
the people of their relationship to, and their 
responsibilities before, a holy and just God. 
who, through atonement, would pardon trans- 
gression and sin. Now it is in connexion with 
the Tabernacle and its services, with Holy Days, 
and with other occasions of a more secular kind, 
that certain instruments of music were com- 
manded by Jehovah to be made and used. These 
were the " Silver Trumpets" (Heb. chatsotsrah). 
probably a kind of trombone, and the " Ram's- 
horn" (Heb. shophar), which were sounded 
according to prescribed rules. The sacred music 
of the Tabernacle was therefore of the simplest 



26 MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



kind — indeed, speaking rigidly, it was hardly 
worthy to be so designated. But it formed 
the germ of that mighty orchestra which, after 
the lapse of centuries, was trained by King 
David and his unrivalled choir-masters to 
ei praise and thank the Lord " at the grand 
dedication of the Temple — <: for He is good ; for 
His mercy endureth for ever.'' 



1 The CViatsotsrah, or silver trumpet, is mentioned in 
Num. x. 2-14, xxxi. 6, al. The Shophar, or ram's-horn, Lev. 
xxv. 9 ; also Exod. xix. 16, Josh. vi. 5, Job xxxix. 25. 



CHAPTER V. 



DAVID — KIRJATH-JEARIM OBED-EDOM 

JERUSALEM. 

i. King David was undoubtedly a great musi- 
cian and poet (2 Sam. xxiii. 1 ; Ecclus. xlvii. 8). 
Long before he ascended the throne, probably 
from earliest youth, he had devoted spare 
moments to pipe and harp. His sheep, as in 
the days of Jabal and Jubal, had been his chief 
audience ; his theatre, the wild uplands of 
Judaea. His home, too, at Bethlehem must 
have often resounded with his simple melodies 
of song and sound ; and no doubt in the gardens 
and streets of his native village, 

4 'The boys and maidens loved his clear 
And plaintive roundelay to hear." 

Even in boyhood and incipient manhood he 
must have attained to rare skill and proficiency 
in the art of music ; for he was but a mere 
youth when the servants of Saul, during one 
of his fits of depression, recommended their 
unhappy king to " seek out a man who was 
a cunning player on an harp," and suggested 
the name of Jesse's youngest son as being thus 



28 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



" cunning in playing," as well as endowed with 
many graces and excellences (i Sam. xvi. 1 1, 12, 
14, to end). A few years elapsed and then came 
the fatal fight on the slopes of Gilboa. Once 
again was David's musical skill called forth in 
singularly pathetic strains. We cannot be far 
wrong in believing that both harp and voice 
united in uttering that last dirge of heart-broken 
sorrow over the unfortunate King of Israel and 
his brave sons — one of whom was the noble, 
well-beloved Jonathan — slain and mangled by 
the t; uncircumcised Philistines." And David 
lamented with this lamentation over Saul and 
over Jonathan his son : 

"The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places! 
How are the mighty fallen ! . . . 

Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, 

And in their death they were not divided ; 

They were swifter than eagles, 

They were stronger than lions. . . . 

How are the mighty fallen, 

And the weapons of war perished ! " 

2. David was now virtually monarch supreme 
over Israel. Yet he did not the less remain 
a musician and a poet. As soon as he found 
himself thoroughly and securely seated upon the 
throne, his first attention was directed to the 
lamentable condition of religion among the 
chosen people, and he made it his first duty 
to bring up the ark from Kirjath-jearim, on the 
confines of Philistia, to its proper resting-place 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



2g 




ASSYRIAN HARPIST, BEATING TIME WITH HIS FOOT. 

Probably such a harp as David carried, about four feet high. 
From the lower bar ornamental tassels or fringes depended. 
Domenichino's picture, " David playing before the Ark," is 
misleading, as it gives a front pillar and sounding-board. See 
ch. ii. a, p. 14. 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



in the city of David (i Sam. vii. 1 ; 2 Sam. vi. 2 ; 
on the names of the town cf. Josh. xv. 9, 60). 
On this festive occasion Sacred Music on a more 
extensive scale than heretofore was introduced. 
And before the thousands of Israel, who had 
been invited to attend and escort the ark, which 
was placed upon a new cart. " David and all 
Israel played before God with all their might, 
and with singing, and with harps, and with 
psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, 
and with trumpets" (1 Chron. xiii. 1 sqq.). The 
account given in the Book of Samuel is as 
follows : "And David and all the house of Israel 
played before the Lord on all manner of instru- 
ments made of fir-wood, even on harps, and on 
psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and 
on cymbals" (2 Sam. vi. 5). Music must have 
developed since the ancient days when simple 
people were content with the harp and pipe. 
We may observe, in passing, that the Hebrew 
term translated in this latter quotation "cornets" 
is to be found in this passage only, and refers 
rather to some instrument " shaken " (Ges.) or 
"rattling" (W.) ; kv Kviifiakois, LXX. ; in sistrid, 
Vulg. ; " castanets," Revised Version. 

Then occurred the well-meant but misplaced 
interposition of Uzzah, with its terror-inspiring, 
fatal tragedy. All the joyous function was at 
once stopped. The ark of God must still 
remain for a brief space in exile ; for David 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 3 1 

" would not remove " it " unto him in the city 
of David : but David carried it aside into the 
house of Obed-edom the Gittite " (id. 10). The 
casual reader may think it strange that the " ark 
of God whose name is called by the Name of the 
Lord of Hosts, that dwelleth between the cheru- 




SISTRA. (E.) 

A framework with loose metal bars inserted, sometimes 
with metal rings added, shaken by the hand. 



bimSj" should find a temporary home with a man 
of Philistine Gath (see note below) ; but the 
reason may possibly be found in the fact — 
mentioned in the Book of Chronicles — that Obed- 
edom was one of the door-keepers for the ark, 



32 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



called afterwards one of the porters (i Chron. 
xiii. 13, xv. 24), and that he was the son of one of 
David's great singers. Jeduthun (1 Chron. xvi. 38). 

3. For three months did the ark tarry at this 
good man's house. Then David once again made 
preparations for bringing it up to Jerusalem- 
preparations which the writer of the Book of 
Chronicles describes with much minuteness of 
detail. The king seems resolved to avoid any 
possible cause which might possibly bring about 
a repetition of the former terrible catastrophe. 

(1) First. "None ought to carry the ark but 
the Levites." The neglect of this divine ordi- 
nance on the previous occasion had brought 
upon them the " breach " from Jehovah. 

(2) The musical arrangements are laid down 
with much preciseness. The Levites, through 
their " chiefs." are to appoint from among their 
" brethren . . . the singers with instruments of 
musick, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sound- 
ing, by lifting up the voice with joy." 

Accordingly, as with ordered martial disci- 
pline, there are appointed of the 

(a) First Degree. Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, 
"to sound with cymbals of brass." 

(b) Second Degree. Zechariah and others, 
"with psalteries on Alamoth " (see p. 73. 10); 
while Zechariah, Obed-edom, and their brethren, 
accompanied " with harps on the Sheminith (see 
p. 70. 3) to excel." 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 33 

(c) Others, again, " the priests, did blow with 
the trumpets before the ark of God." 

(d) Lastly, Chenaniah, as "choir-master," acted 
apparently, on this occasion, as " conductor " of 
the orchestra. From the margin in the Author- 
ized and Revised Versions it is allowable to infer 
that he was the acting director of the sacred 
festivity (see note below). 

These preparations being now completed, 
" so David, and the elders of Israel, and the 
captains over thousands, went up to bring up 
the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of 
the house of Obed-edom with joy ; and David 
was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all 
the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, 
and Chenaniah the master of the song, with 
the singers : David had also upon him an 
ephod of linen. Then all Israel brought up the 
ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting 
and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, 
and with cymbals, making a noise with psal- 
teries and harps.'' £; And David danced before 
the Lord with all his might," " playing " upon 
his harp (1 Chron. xv ; 2 Sam. vi). 

4. Even when the ark had found a resting- 
place in the curtained tent, the musical service 
did not cease ; indeed, it was to continue, accord- 
ing to the fitness of time and occasion, a per- 
petual institution. For David ;£ appointed cer- 
tain of the Levites to minister before the ark of 
c 



34 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



the Lord, and to record, and to thank and praise 
the Lord God of Israel: Asaph the chief" and 
certain others, who evidently were appointed to 
sing, the voice being accompanied with the clash 
of cymbals in the hands of Asaph. Jeiel led "with 
psalteries and with harps ; . . . Benaiah also and 
Jahaziel, the priests, with trumpets continually 
before the ark of the covenant of God." And 
while " Zaclok the priest, and his brethren the 
priests, . . . offered burnt 
^ /fi^y offerings unto the Lord 
upon the altar of burnt 
offering continually morn- 
ing and evening, . . . 
Heman and Jeduthun 
and the rest were chosen 
... to give thanks to the 
Lord, because His mercy 
endureth for ever; and 
with them Heman and 
Jeduthun with trumpets 
and cymbals for those that 
should make a sound, and with musical instru- 
ments of God " (1 Chron. xvi). 

In this same chapter too is recorded an un- 
doubtedly genuine poetical composition of King- 
David, which "he delivered . . . into the hand of 
Asaph and his brethren "—no doubt to be set to 
music and to be sung by them (i Chron. xvi. 7 ; 
sec Revised Version). 




EGYPTIAN CYMBALS. 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 35 



So ended this auspicious Holy Day and grand 
Festival without flaw or mishap — better still, 
without any unfortunate transgression which, 
though unintentional, could call down an angry 
visitation from Jehovah. So far from that, we 
may believe that " the people departed every one 
to his house," full of the favour of the Lord. 
For, before dismissing them, " David blessed tin* 
people in the name of the Lord of Hosts " (2 Sam. 
vi. r8, 19), and afterwards "returned to bless 
his " own " house" (1 Chron. xvi. 43). 



1. The reader is recommended to compare the narrative of 
these events as given in the Book of Samuel with that in 
the Book of the Chronicles. The description of the historian 
in the former is so concise that we might be tempted to infer 
from it that the ark was brought up to Jerusalem, sur- 
rounded and followed by a tumultuous and disorderly mob, 
David, the king, in front, indulging in wild, unrestrained 
leapings, like a dancing Dervish (2 Sam. vi. 16, 20 sqq.). 
Whereas the chronicler, in his prolonged and minute 
account, leaves the impression that the procession marched 
with, so to say, military order and discipline amidst the 
reverent thousands of Israel (1 Chron. xiii. 5, xv. 3). 

2. "Obed-edom, the Gittite." The people of Gath and 
David seem to have been on terms of amity ; and it is quite 
possible that, during the tumultuous days of Saul, priests 
and Levites from Jerusalem fled and tarried there for a space. 
Or Obed-edom may have been a native of Gittaim in the 
tribe of Benjamin (a Sam. iv. 3), or of Gath-rimmon, given 
to the Levites out of the tribe of Dan (1 Chron. vi. 69 ). 
There was another town of the same name, also belonging to 
the Levites, in Manasseh (Josh. xxi. 25) (D.). 

C 2 



CHAPTER VI. 



ARRANGEMENTS OF TEMPLE-MUSIC. 

" So David slept with his fathers" (i Kings 
ii. 10). " And he died in a good old age, full of 
days, riches, and honour ; and Solomon, his son, 
reigned in his stead " (i Chron. xxix. 28). 

Solomon, like his great father, was a con- 
summate poet and musician (1 Kings iv. 31, with 
rffs., and 32). " He undoubtedly had studied 
the art systematically " (E.) : and in the perfect- 
ing of the musical organization for the House of 
God in the capital city he carried forward what 
David had begun and placed upon so firm a foot- 
ing. Indeed, little remained for him to com- 
plete, inasmuch as his royal predecessor had 
thought over and provided for everything that 
could conduce to the full efficiency of the sacred 
services in that " magnifical " house of prayer. 

I. 

Let us now examine the constitution of this 
Temple orchestra. 

1. Its members were chosen from the tribe of 
Levi (see 1 Chron. xv. 16 sqq.). 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 37 

2. Out of the whole number of this tribe, 
which amounted to 38,000 men, 4,000 areselected. 
to "praise the Lord with instruments, which I 
made (said David) to praise therewith " (l Chron. 
xxiii. 3, 5 ; Amos vi. 5). 

[Only those were polled " from thirty years 
old, and upwards " (1 Chron. xxiii. 3) ; after- 
wards from " twenty years " (ib. 24, 27).] 

3. These 4,000 were divided into three courses 
or divisions (marg.), viz. : 

(a) Gershon, (b) Kohath, and (c) Merari 
(1 Chron. vi. I, 31, 32 sqq. ; xxiii. 6). 

(a) Of the Gershonites, Asaph was leader. 
(6) Of the Kohathites, Heman. 
(c) Of the Merarites, Etham. 

(1 Chron. vi. 33, 39, 44.) 

4. These 4,000 were again subdivided into 
a choir of 288 members, of whom it is written 
that they were " instructed in the songs of the 
Lord, even all that were cunning" (1 Chron. 
xxv. 7). This smaller body, well practised and 
" skilful " (Revised Version), seems to have 
formed the usual choir in the daily ministrations 
of the temple-service. Some " prophesied with 
the harp," and some " lifted up the horn " 
(1 Chron. xxv. 3, 5). 

5. Moreover, females were apparently allowed 
to sing in the choir. For " God gave to Heman 
fourteen sons and three daughters. All these 
were under the hands of their father for song 



38 



PATRIAKCHAL AND HEBREW 



in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, psalte- 
ries, and harps for the service of the house of 
God " (i Chron. xxv. 5, 6, and esp. Ezra ii. 65). 

6. The dress of the choir was " white linen '" 
(2 Chron. v. 12, or <; fine linen/' Revised Version; 
cf. 1 Chron. xv. 27 ; 2 Sam. vi. 14). Hence 
la} 7 - vicars, choirmen, and boys wear surplices in 
our cathedrals and churches. 

7. Their position in the Temple was probably 
permanently the same as at the dedication, viz. 
at the " east end of the altar " (2 Chron. v. 12). 

8. The musical instruments, which David had 
prepared in such large numbers in order to 
suffice for all time (Josephus), were kept in one 
of the chambers of the Temple, " put among the 
treasures of the house of God " (2 Chron. v. 1). 

9. The orchestra seems to have played and 
sang " in unison " (ib. v. 13, " one sound"). 

These are the chief points in detail, touching 
the magnificent choir of the Temple in the days 
of Kings David and Solomon. We may now 
proceed to touch briefly on some more general 
matters in connexion with it. 

II. 

1. We need not suppose that this large body 
of men was always present at every service in 
the Temple. No doubt at the dedication service 
increased numbers were called upon to do honou 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 39 



to so exceptional an occasion. " The priests " 
>n that day, we are told, £; did not wait by 
course" (2 Chron. v. 11). But David's fore- 
thought provided for contingencies, such as 
sickness, death, age (see Num. iv. 3), and 
unavoidable absences. Besides which, there 
were many services in addition to those of the 
morning and evening sacrifices, suck as would 
require relief-parties or relays (see 2 Chron. viii. 
j 4, Ps. cxxxiv. 1). 

2. We cannot but be struck with the military 
atmosphere with which this orchestral institu- 
tion is enveloped (1 Chron. xxv. t ; see also xiii. 1 ). 
The "courses" remind us of the brigades and 
divisions of an army. The same genius which 
organized a band of wild freebooters into a 
disciplined host, was equally successful in deal- 
ing with what might otherwise have proved 
a wild mob of singers and trumpeters. " Thus 
the sacred services were conducted decentl}^ 
and in order." 

3. The schools of the prophets — in some respects 
not unlike our monasteries in early times — are 
held by some modern writers to have included 
music in their curriculum of instruction. These 
were at Naioth (1 Sam. xix. 19, 20); Jericho 
(2 Kings ii. 5, 7) ; Gilgal (2 Kings iv. 38) ; Jeru- 
salem (2 Kings xxii. 14). 

4. Choir-masters and their classes are more 
than once specially referred to. " The small as 



4 o 



PATRIAE CHAL AND HEBREW 



the great, the teacher as the scholar" (i Chron. 
xxv. 8), and again, " such as taught to sing 
praise " (2 Chron. xxiii. 13). Some critics have 
suggested that the term " maschil," i.e. instruction, 
has no reference to the moral and spiritual edifi- 
cation of the reader or hearer — see Col. iii. 16 — 
but to the teaching and instruction of the choir. 
In short, this or that particular psalm so called 
was composed with its accompanying music for 
" choir-practice." 

5. We now come by way of conclusion to 
what is undoubtedly the most difficult question 
of all, viz. that of Hebrew musical notation. 
Of this we know absolutely nothing. What 
was the shape and value of their notes'? Did 
they use ledger lines? Were they acquainted 
with the combination of chords, with the intro- 
duction of sharps and flats, with the nicety of 
progressions and modulations, with the deeper 
mysteries of counterpoint ? Here is a boundless 
field for conjecture. But it would be mere 
waste of time to discuss possibilities and proba- 
bilities, which cannot be proved to be right or 
wrong for want of evidence. The Hebrews 
have left behind them no sculptured monuments 
— their archives, even if any ever existed on the 
musical art, have long ago perished in successive 
destructions of their city. Even Assyrian and 
Egyptian monuments are silent on this point 
and cannot help us: they picture for us their 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



41 



musicians and their instruments, but not the 
music. But we cannot be far wrong in suggest- 
ing that the compass of their gamut (as on 
a ten-stringed harp) must have been a wide one 
— that "accidentals" were not unknown — that 
they usually played or sang in octaves — that 
the melodies were simple, somewhat sombre, as 
being in a " minor mode," and perhaps even 
a trifle monotonous. At the same time we must 
not forget that on festive occasions " the people " 
added their thousand voices, and the instruments 
of music supplied and covered countless deficien- 
cies. We may conclude therefore that on festi- 
vals and special days of thanksgiving and joy 
grand effects were produced by, and dependent 
on, volume and bulk rather than on scientific 
grouping of chords. We can judge of this for 
ourselves by reading the account of the dedica- 
tion of the temple, or of Solomon's coronation. 
" And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out 
of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And 
they blew the trumpet ; and all the people said, 
' God save King Solomon ! ' And all the people 
came up after him, and the people piped with 
pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that thi 
earth rent with the sound of them (1 Kings i. 
39> 40). 

Yet David's fetching of the ark from the 
house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem seems to have 
surpassed all other displays of sacred joy and 



4^ 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



gladness in its blaze of grandeur and magnifi- 
cence — somewhat barbaric to our Western ideas, 
but so pleasing to the eye and ear of the 
Oriental. The army of priests and Levites, clad 
in white linen, marshalled in their ordered ranks 
and " courses," the blaring trumpets, the clashing 
cymbals, the clicking castanets, the timbrels, 
usually adorned with gaudy ribbons and orna- 
ments, beaten or shaken, the twanging harps, 
the multitude adding their voices to those of the 
trained choir in the hymn of praise, or rending 
the very heavens with their acclamations ; so the 
long procession slowly, as in a military march, 
ascended the hill of the Lord — the steep slopes 
of Zion— until they reached the "grating port- 
cullis, stiff with the rust of ages, and swept 
through the ancient and everlasting gates of 
Jebus." Then the people returned home, wild 
with exhilaration as in the day of victory ; for 
the Lord had prospered the whole undertaking 
with a great blessing (S.). 

Even at the risk of prolonging (I hope not 
unduly) this chapter, I must remind the reader 
that by general consent of commentators the 
twenty-fourth psafon is assigned in its compo- 
sition and use to the festivities of this great day. 
In our Bibles the heading is simply " A Psalm of 
David." In the Septuagint is added, " on the 
first day of the week," which the Vulgate merely 
copies, and thus the Jews were indirectly 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



43 



and by anticipation singing the Resurrection of 
Messiah. In the Christian Church it has been 
chosen as one of the special psalms for Ascension 
Day. 

But for none of these reasons do I refer to it. 
It has its musical value, inasmuch as it reminds 
us of the solo and responsions of the Song of 
Miriam (Exod. xv. 20, 21). It is evidently to be 
sung in responsive parts, and the following 
division will give a general and fairly correct 
idea of the plan (cf. Ps. lxviii. 24, 25). 

Verse 1. David alone — "The earth is the 
Lord's," &c. 

Verse 2. Response by orchestra — " For He hath 

founded it,* &c. 
Verse 3. Davidalone — "Who shall ascend T'&c. 
Verse 4. Response by " j st course " — " He that 

hath clean hands," &c. 
Verse 5. Response by " 2nd course" — "He shall 

receive the blessing," &c. 
Verse 6. Response by whole orchestra — " This 

is the generation," &c. 

Here there is a pause of voice (Selah), while the 
instruments play a short recitative, leading on 
to the outburst of the full orchestra, voice and 
music, in — 

Verse 7. " Lift up your heads," &c. 
Verse 8. David alone — u Who is the King of 
glory 3 " &c. 



44 MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



Verse 8. Response by " ist course " — " The 

Lord strong and mighty," &c. 
Verse 9. Repetition of verse 7 by full chorus — 

"Lift up your heads," &c. 
Verse 10. Question repeated by solo (verse 8) 

— "Who is this King of glory — 

Who?" 

Verse 10. Response and grand climacteric- — 
" Jehovah Sabaoth — He is the 
King of glory." (Kitto.) 



1. At the dedication of Solomon's Temple were combined 
the fetching of the ark from Zion and the feast of tabernacles 
(see 1 Kings viii. sqq. and 2 Chron. vii. 8). For brevity, 
the festivity is referred to (above) as " the Dedication." 

2. The Temple was not a very large building, and would 
not therefore require a vast volume of sound to fill it. " The 
length by cubits . . . was threescore cubits, and the breadth 
twenty cubits." The length of the "most holy house was 
twenty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits " (2 Chron. 
iii. 3, 8). A cubit = aibout one foot and a half. 

3. The reader might refer with profit to passages in the 
Revelation of St. John, where the Apostle evidently records 
reminiscences of temple-worship : e.g. iv. 4, 8-1 1 ; vii. 9-15. 



CHAPTER VII. 



TEMPLE-MUSIC IN SUBSEQUENT TIMES. 

We may fairly assume that the orchestra of 
the Temple, thus instituted and perfected by 
King David and his successor, continued intact 
and in a high condition of excellence until the 
catastrophe of the Captivity. We frequently read 
of its members doino- musical duties during the 
reign of various kings of Judah (2 Chron. xiii. 12, 
xv. 14. xx. 19, 21 ah), for with the kings of Israel 
we have no concern. At last came the destruction 
of Jerusalem with the massacre and dispersion 
of priests and Levites and people alike (2 Chron. 
xxx vi). In their own country silence and desola- 
tion prevailed everywhere. "The elders have 
ceased from the gate, the young men from their 
music" (Lam. v. 14) ; no slight testimony to the 
depth of their sorrow and misery ; for it was 
among the added horrors of a captured and 
sacked city that '' the voice of harpers, and 
musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters shall 
be heard no more at all in thee" (Rev. xviii. 22). 



46 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



In the land of the captivity Hebrew music re- 
mained silent, the captives persisted in voiceless 
grief; the harps dangled from the willows, idle 
and dumb. In due course (2 Chron. xxxvi. 22) 
Cyrus, u the Persian Sun " (Ges.), arose upon the 
scattered and peeled nation, and permitted their 
return. Jerusalem with its walls and temple 
was rebuilt ; and, as we might reasonably surmise, 
musical matters were not neglected. Its sacred 
orchestra was reorganized and reinstated, and 
its members " dwelt in their cities " (Ezra ii. 70). 
It was present at the laying of the foundations of 
the new temple (ib. iii. 10-13), and again at the 
dedication (ib. vi. 16-22). Fresh relays returned 
in later years, and by the King of Persia's law 
were exempt from certain taxes (ib. vii. 7, 24). 
Frequent mention is made of them in the Book 
of Nehemiah : e.g. vii. 1, 73, ix. 5 sqq., x. 28, 
39, xii. 35 sqq., xiii. 5 al. 

All this shows that Sacred Music had its 
importance. It had its difficulties in the stormy 
days of the Maccabees (2 Mace. v. 15 sqq. ; vi. 2 al.), 
but, surviving all these calamities, was reinstated 
with the splendid restorations of Herod the Great, 
and then came to its final and irrecoverable end, 
as an organized institution, in the last great 
tragedy — the overthrow and destruction of Jeru- 
salem by the Romans, a.d. 72. 

Music, of course, as an abstract entity, cannot 
perish utterly in absolute annihilation. " Music," 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 47 



says Plato, " is eternal, and depends not for 
existence on anything material such as the lyre 
or the harp. These may be destroyed, yet music 
still lives." This is one of the philosopher's 
arguments for the immortality of the soul, even 
though the outward " tabernacle " of the body 
decay and perish. This statement may be applied 
to Hebreiv music. During the first Captivity the 
Jews came for the first time in contact with 
Greek influences. And in due course we shall 
see how Jewish melodies, surviving every form 
of adversity and persecution, and outliving even 
the fire and sword and exile of Rome, emerged 
into new conditions of life, tempered by the 
civilization of Hellas, until, through the widening 
experiences of centuries, they ripened into the 
perfect fruit of Christian Hymnody. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



GENERAL SUMMARY. 
I. 

Summary of Occasions when Music ivas used. 

1. Religious worship. Exod. xxxii. 4-6, 18, 19; 
Num. x. 2, 10; 2 Sam. vi. 5, 12; 1 Chron. xxiii- 
xxv ; 2 Chron. v-vii ; Dan. iii. 5. 

2. In private houses. Job xxi. 12; xxx. 31 : 
2 Sam. xix. 35 ; Eccles. ii. 8 ; Dan. vi. t8 ; Isa. 
v. 11, 12 ; xxiv. 8, 9 ; Ezek. xxvi. 13 ; Amos vi. 

4-6. 

3. In war. Num. x. 9 ; Josh. vi. 4 sqq. ; 
Judges vii. 16-20; 2 Chron. xx. 19, 21; xiii. 

1 2-14. 

4. In mental depression. 1 Sam. xvi. 23 ; 

2 Kings iii. 15. 

5. In love. Ps. xlv (title); Isa. v. 1 (precursors 
of Troubadours). 

6. In mourning. 2 Sam. i. 17 ; 2 Chron. xxx v. 
25; Eccles. xii. 4; Jer. ix. 17-21 ; cf. St. Matt, 
ix. 23. 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



49 



7. In joy:— 

(a) Triumph. Exod. xv. 1, 20, 21 ; Judges v ; 
xi. 32-34; 1 Sam. xviii. 6, 7 ; 2 Chron. xx. 
27, 28. 

(b) Coronation. 1 Kings i. 39, 40 ; 2 Chron. 
xxiii. n-13. 

(c) Well-digging. Num. xxi. 16, 17. 

(d) Grape-gathering. Isa. xvi. 10; xxvii. 2; 
Jer. xlviii. 33. 

(e) Wedding. Jer. vii. 34. 

(/) Mill-grinding. Eccles. xii. 4. 

(g) General. Gen. xxxi. 27 ; St. Matt. xi. 17 ; 
St. Luke xv. 25 ; cf. Isa. xxiii. 15, 16. 

The reader can of course add to this list and 
supply omissions, at his own discretion, and by 
private study. 



David's Great Choir-masters and Leaders. 

1. Asaph. 1 Chron. vi. 39 ; xv. 17 ; xvi. 7 ; 
Neh. xii. 46. 

2. Heman. 1 Chron. vi. 33.) See 1 Chron. ii. 6; 



4. Jeduthun. 1 Chron. xvi. 41 ; xxv. 1,6; 
Ps. xxxix (heading). He was the father of 
Obed-edom (1 Chron. xvi. 38). Some hold him 
to be identical with Ethan (D.). 

Descendants of the above are mentioned in 
Ezra ii. 41 ; Neh. vii. 44 ; xi. 17, 22. 



II. 




1 Kings iv. 31. 



i) 



50 MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



III. 

On the Connexion of Music ivitk Prophecy. 

See i Sam. x. 5, 6 ; 2 Kings iii. 14-16. In 
some passages, however, the Hebrew term simply 
means to "forth-te\\" <; sing," " play on a musical 
instrument," probably the voice accompanying. 
Cf. 1 Chron. xxv. i, 2, 3 ; 2 Chron. xxix. 25-28. 
(Ges.) 

IV. 

General Notes. 

1. The opinion of an uninspired critic on music 
may be found in Ecclus. xxxii. 3-6 ; xlix. 1. 

2. On the character of female itinerant min- 
strels and dancers, see Isa. xxiii. 15, 16 ; Ecclus. 
ix. 4. 

3. The later Psalms of the Captivity, of which 
the heading is " A Psalm of David," K of Asaph," 
&c, are either traditionary compositions of those 
writers, or " worked up " fragments, of which 
they sketched the original outline. 

4. The material of which some of the musical 
instruments were made was " fir/' or rather 
" cypress " wood (2 Sam. vi. 5), and " almug " 
(algum), i.e. "sandal" wood (1 Kings x. 11, 12). 
(Ges. and W.) 



CHAPTER IX. 



DETAILS OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. 
I. 

Stringed Instruments. 

1. (i) Haep. Heb. kinnor, Gen. iv. 21 ; Ps. 
xxxiii. 2 al. . Not necessarily, as according to 
Josephus, played with a plectrum : see 1 Sam. 
xvi. 16, 23; xviii. 10; xix. 9. It was portable 
(1 Chron. xv. 28, 29), and therefore was like 
the Egyptian and Assyrian harp, without a 
sounding-board and a front supporting pillar. 
Its root suggests a tremulous, plaintive sound 
(Ges.), like Greek Kuvpa. This is the Hebrew 
expression in all places, except 

(2) Mahalath, used only in the headings of 
Pss. liii and lxxxviii, of which the root suggests 
the idea of soothing (Ges.). 

2. (1) Psaltery. Heb. nebel; Gk. vafiKa (Soph. 
Fr. 728); Lat. rtablium (Ovid, A. A. iii. 327). 
It was a ten-stringed (Ps. xxxiii. 2), not a twelve- 
stringed (Joseph.) instrument, played with the 
ringers, in the shape of a pyramid standing on 



52 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



its apex or of an inverted delta (St. Jerome). 
The root signifies " flaccidity," and hence the 
original meaning of the word is a bottle of skin, 
a pitcher, or flask, as in Isa. xxx. 14 al. ; and as 
these vessels were made in the shape of a pyra- 
mid or cone, the term was applied to the musical 
instrument of that form : see 1 Sam. x. 5 ; 
1 Kings x. 12. It is used frequently in the Books 




HARP ON STAND, A MAN BEATING TIME, AND A PLAYER ON A 
TAMBOURA (OR GUITAR). l^FROM E.) 

of Chronicles and the Psalms, twice in Isaiah 
and Amos, and once in Nehemiah. Occasion- 
ally it is translated :£ viol," as in Amos v. 23, 
vi. 5 ; and in the Prayer Book version of the 
Psalms " lute." Probably " guitar " is nearer the 
true translation (D.). " Psaltery " is merely the 
Anglicized form of the Greek " psalterion." It 
was played with either quill or finger, and was 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 53 



thus the prototype of our harpsichord (G.). It 
corresponds with modem Arabian al'ud (E.). 
From this musical instrument we apply the 
name " Psalter " to the Book of Psalms. 

(2) Akin to the " nebel" and sometimes added 
to it is the " ashor." Meaning "ten" (Gen. 




GROUP OF HARPS AND OTHER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. (See p. 15.) 



xxiv. 55), it either signifies an " instrument of 
ten strings" or defines the instrument with 
which it is conjoined ; see Ps. xxxiii. 2, xcii. 
3 al. The LXX. gives Iv ^aXrrip'up 8e/ca.)(op8<i>, 
which the Vulgate copies, " in psalterio deca- 



54 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



chordo," or "in psalterio decern chordarum." 
In Ps. xxxiii. 2 it means " the decachord nab- 
lium" (Ges.). 

The psaltery differed, from the cithara in 
having its strings above the sounding-board, 
whereas the latter had them below it (from 
St. Augustine on Ps. xxxiii). 

3. "Instrument of Three Strings." i Sam. 
xviii. 6, A. V. marg. ; ditto R. V., which also 




TRIANGULAR MUSICAL INSTRUMENT FROM HERCULANEUM : A 
SAMBUCA OR TRIANGULAR HARP (SUIDAS). 

suggests " triangles " (Ges.). The LXX. and 
Vulg. do not regard it as a stringed instrument : 
kv Kvufiakois, in sistris. Some triangular in- 
strument seems to be meant, or one which 
recognizes the number "three" which is the 
root (Ges. and W.) ; Heb. 

4. " Stringed Instruments." Heb. min aim. 
; h xophais, Sept. ; in chordis, Vulg., Ps. cl. 4 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 55 



only. The original idea seems to be that which 
is "divided," "a part" or "portion," and hence 
" that which is divided or portioned out into 
slender strings or threads" (Ges.). In Ps. xlv. 8 
Ges. and Revised Version translate, "out of the 
ivory palaces the strings, i. e. concerts of music, 
gladden thee." The Authorized Version has 
followed the LXX. and Vulgate, "whereby," 
&v, "ex quibus." Either translation is correct, 
the Hebrew being *30. 

II. 

Wind Instruments. 

1. Ram's Horn. Heb. shophar ; Sept. adh- 
Tny£ ; Vulg. buccina, Josh. vi. 4, 6, 8, 13. See 
also Exod. xix. 16 ; Lev. xxv. 9 ; Job xxxix. 
25 al., some thirty times in Old Testament. 
The name was derived from its clear, shrill sound: 
it was curved at the further end, and corresponds 
with the Roman " lituus " (Ges.; St. Jerome on 
Hos. v. 8) ; see Shawm (p. 66. 3). 

2. Horn. Heb. kerert ; Sept. Ktpas ; Vulg. cornu, 
Josh. vi. 15 ; 1 Chron. xxv. 5. This was not 
curved so much as the " shophar." In Dan. iii. 
5, 7, 10, 15, it is translated "cornet" (French 
come), a reed instrument of the oboe family. 

3. Silver Trumpets. Heb. chatsotsrah; Sept. 
cra\T7iy£] Vulg. tubae. These trumpets were 
quite straight, about two feet in length. The 
word is primarily used in Num. x. 2, frequently 



56 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



in the historical books, once in the Psalter (Ps. 
xcviii. 6), once in the Prophets (Hos. v. 8). It 
is probably an onomatopoeic word, that is, 
formed from the sound, like " taratantara " in 
Latin, and " hadadera " in Arabic. Our " trom- 
bone " probably best corresponds with it. 





MODERN JEWISH RAMS* HORNS. (FROM E.) 

Jewish Kabbis refer their use to Gen. xxii. 13. 

4. Pipe. Heb. nekeb ; Vulg. foramen, Ezek. 
xxviii. 13. The Sept. shirks the difficulty by 
a general translation of the original. The 
Authorized and Revised Versions translate it by 
" pipes,'* which, as a musical instrument, goes 
well with preceding " tabret." Ges. ; with St. 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



57 



Jerome, prefers "a socket for setting a gem" (pala 
gemmarum): there are other suggestions in Bp. W. 
It literally means " anything hollowed or bored 
through." It is only to be found in this passage. 




A LLMTE WITH RAM's HORN. 

5. Pipes. Heb. chalil; Sept. avXoi iVulg.tibia, 
1 Sam. x. 5 ; 1 Kings i. 40 marg. " flutes," 
Isa. v. 12; xxx. 29; Jer. xlviii. 36. The word 
means " that which is perforated " (Ges.). 



53 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



III. 

Instruments of Percussion. 

i. Timbrel or Tabret. Heb. toph ; Sansc. tup: 
Gk. r^ro); Lat. tympanum; Span, adduffa, "that 
which is struck," Gen. xxxi. 27 ; Exod. xv. 20 ; 
Judges xi. 34 ; 2 Sam. vi. 5 ; Job xxi. 12; Ps. 
cxlix. 3; cl. 4; Isa. v. 12; Jer. xxxi. 4 al. 




EGYPTIAN DRUMS. (FROM E.) 



A light kind of drum beaten with the hand. 
See the metaphor used in Nahum ii. 7. '"The 
mournful voice of doves, beating with their 
beaks upon their breasts as upon a 'tabor' or 
timbrel " (Bp. W.). The Authorized and Revised 
Versions translate the passage with accuracy ; 
the LXX. and Vulg. rather give the meaning. 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 59 



The word " Tabret " is a shortened form of 
Taboret ; other forms are Tabor and Taborine. 
The performers on the instrument were called 
Taborers or Tabreres,from the Old French Tabour, 
Tabourin. These terms are to be found in 
Shakspeare, Spenser, Drayton, 
&c. The curious expression in 
the Authorized Version of Job 
xvii. 5 is wrongly translated, no 
doubt from inadequate know- 
ledge of Hebrew. The Sept. 
gives the supposed sense : ye'Acos 
he clvtols air^-qv, and the Vulg. 
exemplum sum coram eis, " I 
became an object of merry- 
making to them " (Poole). But 
the Revised Version gives no 
doubt the correct translation ; 
see "Tophet" in Ges. = "that 
which is despised, abhorred, 
base." 

2. Cymbals. Heb. tzelt- 
zelim, metzilloth, metzilthaim ; 

O J / n \ XT 1 7 ASSYRIAN DRUM. ( E. ; 

oept. KvupaAov, VuJg. cymua- 
lum. These were round disks of brass, fitted with 
leathern straps through which the hands passed, 
and so were loudly clashed together (see p. 34). 

They are frequently mentioned in the Historical 
Books ; only once in the Psalter (Ps. cl. 5) ; and 
not at all in the Prophetical Books ; once also 




6o 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



in the New Testament, i Cor. xiii. i, Kv\ifia\ov 
a\aka(ov ; Vulg. cymbalum tinniens. 

3. Castanets. Heb. nienaaneim, 2 Sam vi. 5 
only. " Cornet " in Authorized Version seems 
decidedly wrong. "Casta- 
nets" in Revised Version 
may be nearer the mark. 
Some instrument which, 
when shaken, makes a 
rattling, tinkling noise, 
from root "to shake," as 
at lo-Tpov from o-etco, is meant 
(Ges.,W.,E.); Sept. ez> ku/x- 
fiakois ; Vulg. in sistris 
(see p. 31). 

4. Triangles, i Sam. 
xviii. 6 ; Revised Version 
marg., "instruments of 

EGYPTIAN CHOTOLA OR CASTA- . ,, 

nft>. shaken to dancers, (e.) three strings (see p. 54). 
IV. 

I nstruments of Music in Dan iel 111 and VI. 

1. Cornet. Heb. farm; LXX. cmATnyf; Vulg. 
/ a ha ( see p. 55, II. 2). 

2. Flute. Chald. mishroJeith a ; LXX. avpiyg ; 
Vulg. fistula, from root signifying " whistling, 
hissing, piping " (Judges v. 16, Revised Version) ; 
= a musical pipe (Ges.), or " flute or reed " ( W.)> 
or " double pipe " (E.). 




MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 6l 

3. Harp. Chald. Jcithram ; LXX. KiBapa ; Vulg. 
citkara (see p. 51). 

4. Sack but. Chald. sambuca ; LXX. a-a^vK-q ; 
Vulg. sambuca ; French eacqueluta. A musical 
instrument with strings similar to the " nablium " 
(see p. 51) (Ges.) ; a four-stringed instrument 
(W.) ; according to Suidas, a triangular harp. 




DOUBLE PIPES. 



" Its derivation is barbarous, that is, Oriental 
(Strabo) or Semitic." Perhaps from a root im- 
plying <c interweaving of strings" (Ges.). It 
had a clear, shrill tone (Bp. W.). It was known 
to the Romans ; cf. 

" Sambucam citius caloni aptaveris alto" (Pers. v. 95). 



62 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



The English sackbut was a kind of pipe — a 
musical instrument of the wind kind, fit to play 
bass, and contrived to be drawn out or shortened, 
according to the tone required : evidently a trom- 
bone (G. and Chappell). 

"The trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries, and fifes 
Make the sun dance." (Shakspeare, Cor.) 

j. Psaltery. Heb. or Chald. psanterin, 
formed from the Greek ; LXX. \j/a\TripLov ; Vulg. 
ptalferium (see p. 51). 

6. Dulcimer. Chald. suniphonyah, omitted 
in LXX.; Vulg. symphonia. ;£ A double-pipe 
with a bag," called in Italy and Asia Minor "zam- 
pogna " = " bag-pipes " (Ges., Revised Version in 
marg., E., and Rabbi Saadia Gaon); "symphony" 
(W.). The English dulcimer was a box of thin 
wires, with sounding-board and bridges, the 
hammers striking the wires by hand ; and was 
thus the prototype of our piano (G.). See 
App. III. Others suggest " concerted music." or 
" part-singing." 

7. Instruments of Music. Dan.vi.18. Chald. 
dachavoah; LXX. ibiaixara ; Vulg. cibi — 

(a) Instruments of music (Authorized Version 
and Revised Version, also ancient Rabbins). 

(6) Tables of food (Sept. and Vulg. and Author- 
ized Version marg.). 

(r) Dancing girls (Revised Version marg.). 

(d) Concubines (Ges., W.). 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 63 



V. 

Musical Instruments occasionally mentioned in 
Authorized or Revised Versions, and in 
Prayer Book Version of Ptalter. 

1. Lute. Heb. nebel ; see psaltery (p. 51). 
This word is not found in Authorized Version, 
and only once or so in Revised Version, Isa. v. 1 2, 
where Authorized Version has " viol." It occurs 
about seven times in Prayer Book Version of the 
Psalms. 

2. Viol. Heb. nebel; see psaltery (p. 51). In 
Authorized Version it occurs Isa. v. 12 ; xiv. 11 ; 
Amos v. 23 ; vi. 5. The old English viol cannot 
be the representative of the " nebel," as the former 
was played with a bow, was the successor of the 
mediaeval fiddle, and the predecessor of the more 
modern violin and viola (G.). Such an instru- 
ment seems never to have existed in Palestine, 
Egypt, or Assyria — at least, it never appears on 
their monuments (E.). The viol, however, was 
a bowed instrument, having three to six strings. 
Possibly the plectrum was mistaken for the bow. 

A few words may be added about the viol. 
There is some difference of opinion as to its 
birthplace. Many writers claim a Wettem 
origin, and trace it to the Welsh " crwth " or the 
Russian " gudok." It then passed to Italy and 




GROUP OF WESTERN LYRES. 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 




'iROUP OF WESTERN LYRES. 



66 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



Greece, and onwards to Persia and the East, 
whence it was brought back to the West by the 
Crusaders. 

Others find an inventor in Ravanen, King of 
Ceylon, to whom reference is made at p. 17. It 
may still be found in India and China, and 
therefore may have existed and been in use for 
untold past generations. The viol's best repre- 
sentative is the mediaeval rebec, a Moorish 
term and instrument, having two or three 
strings, a kind of small fiddle, introduced by 
the Moors into Spain, whence it afterwards made 
its way to England (E.). 

"My tongue's use to me is no more 
Than an unstringed viol or a harp." (Shakspeare.) 

"Brother, quod he, heer woneth an old rebekke, 
That hadde almost as lief to lese hir nekke 
As for to yeve a peny of hir good." (Chaucer.) 

3. Shawms. Heb. shophar (p. 55. 1). Prayer 
Book Version, Ps. xcviii. 7 (6 in Authorized and 
Revised Versions), only used here. The shawm 
was a reed instrument like a shepherd's pipe, 
a sort of oboe, " and parent of the clarinet " 
(Chappell) ; a cornet, or bassoon — frequently 
associated with the bagpipe (G.). The shawm 
is often referred to in old poets and writers — 

"Is not a shalm known from a drum?" 

(Archbp. Cranmer.) 

With shaumes and trompets and with clarions sweet." 

(Spenser.) 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 67 

"That maden loude menstralcyes 
In cornemuse, and shalmyes. 
And many other maner pype." (Chaucer.) 
"Even from the shrillest schame unto the corna mute." 

(Drayton. ] 

The derivation of the word seems to have 
passed through many transitions, as the different 
spellings testify. Shawm: Teut. schawme ; O.G. 
halm, to scream; O.E. shalmie, schalmey — also 
chalmie, from O.F. chalumeau, L. calamus. 

4. The Lyre is not mentioned in any of the 
versions. 




SUPPOSED HEBREW LYRE. (E.) 



E 2 



CHAPTER X. 



SUPERSCRIPTIONS OF PSALMS. 

Theke has always been some difference of 
opinion as to the genuineness and authority 
of the Superscriptions or Headings of the Psalms. 
Are they co-eval with the Psalms or of sub- 
sequent date? What is their worth or value? 
To arrive at a conclusion which may not be far 
from the true one, it is to be observed that (a) 
the Hebrew, in which they are written, is mostly 
archaic, (b) In the Hebrew Bibles they are 
printed as though they were the opening verses 
of the Psalm — not separated, and over it, as in 
the English and other versions of the Bible, (c) 
Where a Psalm is recorded in other Books of the 
Old Testament — e. g. 2 Sam. xxii. i ; xxiii. i ; 
Isa. xxxviii. 9 ; Hab. iii. 1, 19 — there is always 
a Prefix stating either the author or the occasion 
of the composition. From all this— added to 
which there is (to us) their obscure and enigma- 
tical form in many cases — it is a reasonable 
opinion that they are of great antiquity, and 
may even have been appended by their authors. 
Ancient commentators held them in high esteem. 
St. Jerome calls them "Keys" — Prooemia ; 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 69 



St. Augustine, " Decorations on the brow of the 
Psalms." Whether their meaning was lost in 
early times, or became gradually overlaid with 
fanciful interpretations in the course of sorrow 
and exile — the days of the Captivity being 
responsible for much false accretion in Hebrew 
literature — we cannot say. At any rate the 
Septuagimtal Headings, too often slavishly 
followed by the Vulgate, frequently differ con- 
siderably from the Helreiv Prefixes, and can be 
only regarded as the " guess-work opinions " of 
the Hellenistic translators, trying to interpret 
the (to them) hidden meaning of the Hebrew. 

I. 

Single Terms. 

1. Negtnoth. Ps. iv. al. A stringed instru- 
ment of uncertain shape (Ges., W.). See 
Lam. v. 14 ; Isa. xxxviii. 20 ; Hab. iii. 19. This 
Psalm and others thus prefixed were entrusted 
to the "Conductor" or " Leader" of the members 
of the choir, who played upon this instrument, 
to be set to music by him. Also Song of derision, 
Lam. iii. 14; Job xxx. 9. 

2. N eh 1 loth. Ps. v. only. Pipes or Flutes, 
from Hebrew verb to " perforate," 1 Sam. x. 5. 
In Ps. lxxxvii. 7, " the Players on instruments " 
(Authorized Version), "they that dance" (Revised 
Version), "Trumpeters" (Prayer Book Version). 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



should be " Pipers " or " Flute-players " (D.. Ges.. 
W., E.). This, from the derivation, seems to be 
a reasonable interpretation, though some have 
held it to refer to a " stringed instrument," or 
to a " peculiar mode of performance/' or to a 
" favourite air " (E.). Hengstenberg suggests an 
interpretation which has nothing to do with 
music : " portions," viz. of the righteous and 
wicked. The Sept. has virep ttJ? Kk^povoixouay^ ; 
Vulg. " pro ea, quae haereditatem consequitur," 
which points to a similar Hebrew word, signi- 
fying "possession, inheritance"; cf. Deut. iv. 21. 

3. Neginoth upon Sheminith (Authorized 
Version) ; " On stringed instruments set to the 
Sheminith" (Revised Version); Sept. h vp.voi$ 
v7T€p T7]s dyhorjs ; "In carminibus . . . pro oetava," 
Vulg. Pss. vi. and xii. On Neginoth, see above. 
Sheminith = Cf eighth " ; and as in 1 Chron. xv. 20, 
21, it is apparently used in contradistinction to 
Alamoth (see p. 73), it may mean an eighth heloiv 
the trebles, i. e. baritones or basses. The instru- 
ment was either to be tuned i n octaves with some 
treble instrument, or the Psalm was to be sung 
by the basses. A less probable opinion is that a 
" harp of eight strings " is intended (Ges., W., al.). 

4. Shiggaton. Ps. vii ; Hab. iii. j (in plural). 
So Authorized and Revised Versions ; Sept.^a/Voy 
rw AavCb, k.t.X. ; so Vulgate. If from Hebrew 
root signifying to " wander," perhaps a " desul- 
tory, erratic poem dependent on the varied 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 7 1 



•motions of the singer," " a Dithyramb " ; Lat. 
Cantica erratica (Ewald, Delitzsch) ; or " Elegy, 
Lamentation" (RosenmUller, Calmet, Kennicott). 
Perhaps better, a " Song," from Hebrew root 
signifying " to praise, celebrate," as in Syria c 
(Ges.). Hengstenberg, who usually gives a moral 
or spiritual meaning to these superscription 8, 
refers the term to the " wanderings," i. e. " errors 
of the wicked." Possibly he was led to this by 
the Vulgate's rendering of Hab. iii. i, " Oratio 
Hab. Proph. pro ignorantiis " ; Sept. -npoazvyj] 
Afx^aKOVfji r. 7Tpo<p. fiera (Lbr/s. 

j. Gittith. Pss. viiij lxxxi, lxxxiv. (i) A 
kind of musical instrument used by the people 
of Gath. (2) More probably, one played upon 
at the vintage by the vine-dressers (root D3, 
a winepress) (Ges., W.) ; cf. Sept. imep t&v Krjv&v ; 
Vulg. pro torcularibus. (3) A military march 
of David's Gittite guard, 2 Sam. xv. 18 (Bp. 
Ellicott's Old Testament Commentary). " All 
these Psalms are of a jubilant character " 
(Bp. W.) ; cf. 2 Chron. xxix. 30. 

6. Muth-labben. Ps. ix, Authorized and 
Revised Versions ; a hopelessly obscure word. 
" Muth " undoubted^ means " Death " (Ges.), 
but what is' labben"? It has been taken to 
signify (< Son" or - White," i.e. illustrious. It 
lias been thus applied to some unknown enemy 
of David of that name ; also to Absalom, Saul, 
and Goliath. The interpretation, however, ought 



72 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



to have some respect not merely to philology, 
but to the subject and words of the Psalm, 
which seem hardly compatible with David's early 
days (Lowth). Some interpret it of a musical 
instrument. Or, if " muth " be a shortened 
form of " almah " in plural, and " lab " be a prefix 
to " ben," i. e. al-ben, then it may be translated, 
"Song for maidens to the sons" [of Korah], or 
"Songs of maidens to (i.e. in honour of) Beu," 
one of the choir-masters of the second degree 
(i Chron. xv. 18). A better explanation is, 
" Song with virgins' voices for the boys," i. e. to 
be sung by them (Ges. ; see also D., Bp. W., or 
any good commentary). The Sept, v-nep t&v 
KpvcpLOiv rod vlov ; Vulg. £: pro occultis filii," does 
not help us much. 

7. Sheminith. Ps. xii ; " see p. 70. 3. 

8. MlCHTAM. Ps. xvi. al. Sept. 2rr]\oypa(f)La 
To. Aavlh ; Vulg. Tituli inscriptio = (a) engraven 
on a pillar, i.e. writing to be always conspicuous 
before the eye, and pre-eminently to be engraven 
on the heart. Heb. root catham ; see Job xix. 
2 3 (Bp.W.). 

(b) " Something written," i.e. a poem ; cf. Isa. 
xxxviii. 9 (Ges., Rosenmuller). 

(c) " A golden," i. e. most precious, " Psalm" : 
from Heb. root = g°ld (" unsuitable," Ges.). 

(d) A musical instrument (D.). 

(e) A song of deep import or meaning (Hengst.); 
rich in spiritual thought and imagery (Rabbins) ; 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 73 

cf. Golden Sayings (of Pythagoras) ; Golden 
Legend. 

9. Maschil. Ps. xxxii, al. The title of at 
least thirteen psalms. Sept. o-vveais; Vulg. In- 
tellectiis = " instruction." (a) Something " didac- 
tic, conveying a moral or spiritual lesson " (Ges.). 
If so, the thirty-second Psalm was specially 
suited for this title, as it is held to have been 
composed in reference to 2 Sam. xii. 1-13 inclu- 
sive. [It is curious, however, that Ps. li. is not 
so called.] An old writer calls it a " didascalic 
Psalm" (Archib. Symson, a.d. 1648). 

(b) It may have obtained its name from ver. 8. 

(c) Few Psalms are without some instruction ; 
but in Arabic the word for " doctrine," " teach- 
ing," or " instruction " is applied to every kind 
of poetry (Ges.). 

(d) Another conjecture has been made that 
these Psalms were composed as music lessons 
for the choir, selections or compositions for choir- 
practice. 

10. Alamoth. Ps. xlvi. Sept. virep t&v Kpv- 
(f)Lcov ; Vulg. pro arcanis. As Alam signifies a 
"young man" or "youth" (1 Sam. xvii. 56), 
and Alamah, " a young girl " or " virgin " (Exod. 
ii. 8 ; Cant. i. 3* al.), the term may refer to some 
instrument of music, corresponding in title with 
our "virginals," because played by young people, 
girls and boys. But, from 1 Chron. xv. 20, 
21, where there seems some contradistinction 



74 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



intended between Alamoth and Sheminith, i.e. 
trebles and basses, it will be better to under- 
stand that the Psalms upon Alamoth are to be 
sung by the "trebles," i.e. with boyish and 
virgin voices (Ges., W., al.). 

The Sept. (followed of course by the Vulgate) 
derived its heading from the Heb. verb alam, 
i.e. to "hide or conceal," having in mind the 
Ghaldee and other interpretations, viz. that the 
Psalm was written by the surviving sons and 
descendants of Korah, as a song of thankfulness 
for deliverance when their father was "hidden" 
in the earth, overwhelmed by the great earth- 
quake at the time of their rebellion (Num. xvi) 
(Hammond). 

ii. Mahalath. Ps. liii; see lxxxviii. Sept. 
v7T€p fxaeXW avviatm ; Vulg. " pro Maeleth intelli- 
gentia David." Whether this be an instrument 
or a song, the idea conveyed is something "sooth- 
ing ; " = a harp (Ges.) ; a lute or guitar accom- 
panied with voice (W.). Some connect the word 
with Mahalah, " disease," and suggest the Psalm 
may have been composed in a time of illness or 
sorrow (Hengst.). Or, " the disease of the heart," 
as conspicuous in Ps. liii. i, may have suggested 
the title (Spurgeon). Or, it is a " discourse on 
the sickness of Israel, when the Temple was laid 
waste " (Rashi). Or, it may refer to " Machol " 
(Exod.xv.20), "dance," and hence St. Jerome "per 
chorum." Or, to directions as to time, expres- 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



75 



sion, &c. ; e.g. mesto, andante mesto (Del.) (see 
D. for other explanations). 

12. Mahalath Leannoth. Ps. Ixxxviii. Sept. 
. . . v-ep M. tov aTTOKptOrjvaL ; Vulg. "pro Maheleth 
ad respondendum." 

(a) Leannoth from root = to sing (Isa. xxvii. 
2) ; hence = to sing with the Mahalath in a sooth- 
ing and mournful tone (Ges.). 

(b) As this same root = to answer (Ezek. xiv. 
4, 7), some think it refers to " responsive " 
(p. 103) singing (St. Augustine, al., Sept.). 

(c) Or, the Heb. word may come from root = 
to depress or oppress. Hence "a song under 
oppression and consequent distress/' cf. ver. 3 
(Hengst.) ; "to sing in a mournful strain" (Bp.W.). 
Other authorities, quoted by Spurgeon (on Ps. 
Ixxxviii), agree in the idea of " mournfulness " 
as attached to this superscription. 

II 

Descriptions. 

1. Shoshanxim. a song of loves. Pss. xlv, lxix. 
Sept. v-nep to)v akXoLoiO)](roixlvoiv ; Vulg. "pro iis qui 
commutabuntur " ; Sept. w6tj virep tov aya~i)Tov ; 
Vulg. canticum pro dilecto." (a) The first of 
these Psalms was probably composed for a mar- 
riage-feast or a betrothal. Shoshannim may be a 
musical instrument in the shape of a lily. The 
cymbal is said to be made very like to the Mar- 
tagon lily (Ges., W.,D.),which has six leaves (Del.). 



76 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



(6) Others, from Heb. sheish, i. e. six, refer the 
term to an " instrument of six strings " (Kimchi, 
Calmet). 

(c) £t Lilies " refer to the beauty of the subject 
spoken of (Hengst.). These flowers, as emblems 
of innocence and loveliness, were introduced into 
the sculpture of Solomon's temple (i Kings vii. 
19, 22, 26; 2 Chron. iv. 5) (Bp. W.). 

(d) The Sept. heading is very enigmatical. 
Perhaps it was copied from a different reading. 
Or, if the Psalm was composed on the marriage 
of Solomon to Pharaoh's daughter, it may refer 
to her and her companions expatriating them- 
selves from their own fatherland and coming to 
live in that of strangers. 

2. Shoshannim- or Shushan-Eduth. Pss. 
lx. and lxxx. Sept. eh rb reAos rot? aAAoico- 
6r\j-oix€vois eri eh arrjXoypacpLav tgj AautS eh hiba)(i]v, 
6ttot€ evenvptae ttjv MecroTTOTafxtav Sv/u'af, kcll tt^v 
HvpLav 2o/3oA, kol eireo-Tpexj/ev 'Ioa/3 /cat eirara^e tt]v 
(f>apayya t&v a\<av bvheKa x^iaSa?, Ps. lx. 

vTrep t&v ak\oLod9ii(roii£va>v , fmprvpiov rw Arrac/), 
v//aA/j.ov virep tov 'AaavpLov, Ps. lxxx. 

The Vulgate is word for word in Ps. lx, but 
omits virep — 'Ao-o-. in Ps. lxxx. 

(a) The Heb. term means " lily of witness " ; 
and may remind the reader that the Psalm (lx) is 
a " testimony " to David's prowess (cf. Bp. W.), 
2 Sam. viii. 

(b) In Ps. lxxx. it is more appropriate to 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 77 



regard the term as " a revealed song or psalm," 
" a divine law or precept, to be sung on the 
lyre " (Ges., W.). 

(c) " The words in themselves have no mean- 
ing in the present text, and must therefore be 
regarded as probably the fragment of the begin- 
ning of an older psalm with which the choir was 
familiar" (D.). 

3. Aijeleth Shahar. Ps. xxii. "hind of the 
morning," marg. Authorized Version ; Sept. virep 
rrjs {(odLvijs a^rtArJ^eo)? ; Vulg. "pro susceptione 
matutina." 

(a) Perhaps the name of a poem, to which 
a tune, suitable for Ps. xxii, had been composed 
(Ges.). 

(b) Jewish interpreters refer it to the Shechi- 
nah, or to the morning oblation of the lamb (Del.). 

(c) The name of a musical instrument, or an 
allegorical interpretation of the argument in Ps. 
xxii; or "a Psalm of David, addressed to the 
music-master who presides over the band called 
the morning hind" (D.). 

((/) It seems to have been a Morning Psalm or 
Hymn. The Arabs call the rising sun, when 
it sheds its first beams, the " Gazelle." The 
Sept. heading points to some such interpre- 
tation, " concerning the morning uprising or 
uplifting." 

4. JONATH-ELEM-RECHOKIM. Ps. lvi. Sept. VTTtp 
tov Kaov tov cltto t&v ay'mv ixe^aKpvppivov, k.t.A. : 



73 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



Vulg. "pro populo, qui a Sanctis longe factus 
est," &c.; cf. rnarg. in Revised Version, "The silent 
dove of thern that are afar off ; or, the dove of 
the distant terebinths." 

(a) This may refer to the feelings of David, 
when he with many of his companions was 
taking refuge at Gath, far away from the taber- 
nacle and all its holy associations ; cf. Sept. 
above ; also i Sam. xxvii. 4 (Rashi). 

(6) " The dove dumb in distant places or 
woods" (St. Jerome, Bochart, D.). 

(c) "The oppression of the banished people." 
as (a) (Houbigant). 

(d) " After the melody of the air which begins 
Jonath E. R. — indicating the rhythm of the 
psalm " (Aben-Ezra). 

(e) Jon. E. R. = a musical instrument of a dull, 
mournful sound (Moses Mendelssohn in D.). On 
the dove, cf. Ps. lv. 6-9, which seems to connect 
the two Psalms together (Bp. W.). 

(f) The dumb dove among foreigners = the 
people of Israel in exile. The title of a poem, to 
the tune of which Ps. lvi. was sung (Ges.). 

5. Al-taschith. Pss.lvii, lviii, lix, lxxv. Sept. 
Mj) buxfrdelpris ; Vulg. ne disperdas ; Authorized 
Version, marg. " destroy not." 

(a) " Destroy not," perhaps with reference to 
Deut. ix. 26-29 (W.); cf. Ps. lix. 11; 1 Sam. xxvi. 
9 ; 2 Sam. i. 14 ; Isa. lxv. 8 (Bp. W.). 

(b) Perhaps the opening words of some well- 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



79 



known sacred poem of which the tune was suit- 
able for these Psalms (D., Ges.). 

(c) Al-taschith refers to the scope, as Michtam 
to the dignity, of these Psalms (Flavel. from 
Spurgeon). 

in. 

Musical Directions. 

1. Higgaion. Ps. ix. 1 6, at the end of the 
vcr.se. Sept. M) diax/mAjuaro; ; Vulg. omits it. 
A musical sign, probably an interlude chorus 
(Ges., W.). The word is used again in xix. 14 = 
" meditation," and xcii. 3 = £; solemn sound " of 
the harp. Possibly these Psalms were accom- 
panied with harps, and " Higgaion " may inti- 
mate that the harps were to perform a short 
recitative, while the singers paused for medita- 
tion. Hence to Higgaion. " harp recitative," is 
appended in Ps. ix. 16 the term " Selah." 

2. Selah. This word, a musical notification, 
is found seventy-three times in the Psalms, and 
in no other book except Hab. iii. 3. 9. 13. 

(a) Deriving the word from salah, "to sus- 
pend,"' and applying it to the voice, we thus get 
at the interpretation £; pause," " silence." Hig- 
gaion — Selah, will therefore mean ,; Music, strike 
up ; Voices, be silent " (Ges., Ewald). 

(b) Others interpret it as " elevating the voice," 
i.e. bursting forth into a swelling and loud 



8o 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



hallelujah of praise (Augusti, Lee, and others in 
D.). 

(c) Rabbinical writers translate it " for ever 
and ever." 

These different interpretations show how en- 
tirely the meaning of these musical terms has 
been lost. All is more or less conjecture. When, 
however, "Selah" occurs in the middle of the 
Psalm, it points to the different strophes into 
which the Psalm is divided. 

IV. 

Songs of Degrees. 

These are sometimes called the Gradual Psalms 
from the Vulgate heading, " Canticum graduum." 
The Sept. 'I2§^ rcav avafiady,G>v. The question 
then is, what is the meaning of this name? 
These f: songs of degrees,'' "of the steps," are 
fifteen in number, viz. cxx-cxxxiv. 

1 . They were the Songs of the Pilgrims at the 
fifteen resting-places, where they halted between 
their distant homes and Jerusalem, when they 
came up to keep the great feasts (Deut. xvi. 16). 
(Theodotion, Aquila, Ewald, Thomson, Land 
<u id Book.) 

2. Or, the Songs of those who accompanied 
Ezra and Nehemiah from Babylon and Persia to 
Jerusalem on the "return" from captivity (St. 
Chrysostom, Theodoret, &c, Ewald, Hammond). 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 8l 



3. Hezekiah wrote and sang them on his 
recovery as thanksgivings for his restoration to 
health and the addition of fifteen years to his 
life (Dr. J. Lightfoot, fl. 1602-1675). 

4. Neherniah's workmen sang these Song^ 
every morning as they mounted the walls to 
rebuild them. 

5. The term Ci degrees " refers to each Psalm 
being sung on a higher key— on notes rising in 
succession (Calvin). 

6. These fifteen Psalms have the name of 
" degrees " given them from the step-like pro- 
gressive rhythm of their thought ; and conse- 
quently their name, like the roundelay in 
Western poetry, does not refer to their liturgical 
usage, but to their technical structure. They 
are thus songs which move on towards a climax, 
and by taking up the immediately preceding- 
word they thus give intensity to the expression. 
On account of this common characteristic, these 
Psalms are placed together (Ges., Del., Dr. Kay). 
But this characteristic is more apparent than 
real (Thrupp, and others). 

7. " There were fifteen steps rising from the 
court of the women to the court of Israel, upon 
which the Levites stood singing these Psalms. 
These steps were at the east of the altar, and on 
the top was the orchestra, where the choir was 
placed (2 Chron. v. 1 2), especially at the Feast of 
Tabernacles, when they celebrated their deliver- 

F 



8 2 



PATRIARCHAL AND HEBREW 



ance from Egypt " (Armfield, Grad. Pss., quoting 
Rabbinical tradition ; also W.). 

[No. 6 is the generally accepted interpretation 
at the present day ; but No. 7 is worth atten- 
tion, as the traditions of so conservative a nation 
as the Jews, so "jealous of precedent and 
authority in religion," are sure to contain some 
germ of truth, and are not likely to be wholly 
inventions.] 

V. 

Conclusion. 

1. If the headings to the Psalms refer to 
musical instruments, it is rather strange that 
not one of them appears among those used in 
the Temple, or on public occasions. Are they 
to be regarded, then, as instruments more suited 
for private use, for practice in one of the Temple 
chambers, or at home — like our spinet, piano, 
or harmonium 

2. It is better to understand them, or most of 
them, as names of the tunes, especially as they 
correspond with names fashionable years — and 
even centuries — ago in our own country, e.g. 
" The Silver Tune," « TheRoseTune" (cf. Shoshan- 
nim), " The Golden Tune " (Michtam), " The High 
Mountain Melody," " The Morning Melody " (cf. 
Aijelath Shahar), "In the quick Plough Tune," 
" In the cheerful Praise Tune." In these modern, 



MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 



83 



rapid, and practical days we have to be content 
with short, commonplace names for our hymn- 
tunes, " Irish," " London New," " Miles Lane " ! 
&c. 

3. It is an interesting but more difficult ques- 
tion to answer how these ancient Superscrip- 
tions came to bo entirely unintelligible and their 
meaning lost. If, however, the teaching of music, 
the instruction and leading of choirs, became re- 
stricted to certain families, and from them musical 
guilds were formed who kept as much as possible 
the knowledge of the art to themselves, and 
gradually confined within their own special circle 
initiation into the mysteries of musical words and 
terms and marks and phrases, the knowledge of 
such secrets must necessarily have perished with 
the death or dispersion of those who held the key. 
The first Captivity may have done much towards 
this obliteration, for the massacre of priests and 
Levites must have awfully thinned their ranks ; 
and the dispersion was so thorough that to this 
day there floats amongst us the tradition of the 
" Lost Tribes." Contact with Greeks in Baby- 
lonia, and subsequently, on a larger scale, in and 
through Alexandria, may have had some influence ; 
for the musical instruments mentioned in Dan. iii. 
are, some of them, called by Greek names spelt 
in Chaldee or Aramaic letters. Finally, the 
destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, and the 
complete subjugation of the Holy Land to Rome, 

F 2 



84 MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND TERMS. 

and the utter and permanent dispersion of the 
Hebrew nation, gave the final and fatal blow to 
musical guilds — and indeed to Jewish societies 
of all kinds. We cannot tell what information 
on this and other subjects Egyptian tombs or 
Babylonian and Assyrian libraries may yet have 
in store for us. But with our present evidence 
we can carry the investigation no further — and 
indeed the results of the labours of learned 
scholars in this branch of the subject, as given 
in the preceding pages, are little better than 
" guess-work." Happily, though the Superscrip- 
tions remain an enigma, the Psalms themselves 
survive to us in their entirety, to be the Light 
and Comfort and Joy of the reader till the end 
of time. 



a O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." 



PART II 



Ecclesiastical Music from the 
Christian Era to Hexry Purcell. 

A.B. 1658-95. 

"One of God's great charities is music." — Lowell. 
"Music is the most ennobling gift when used aright and 
to the glory of God." — Life, of Sir George Elvey. 



CHAPTER I. 

MUSIC IN APOSTOLIC AXD SUB- APOSTOLIC 
TIMES. 

With the Christian era dawned a new epoch 
— for all things, and therefore for Music. Still, it 
was only the first breakings forth of the day. 
But we know that when once the sun has risen 
nothing can turn it back — it has begun its on- 
ward march to meridian splendour. Matters, 
however, remained for some years the same as of 
old. The Temple, with all its divinely-appointed 
ritual, was still standing ; the Synagogue, with 
its more modest form of worship, still reared its 



86 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



head in every lesser town and village. In each 
sacred building our Blessed Lord must have 
often heard and joined in the services of prayer 
and praise (St. Luke ii. 46; iv. 16); so the 
apostles and disciples also (Acts ii. 46 ; iii. 1 ; 
v. 42). They and their Divine Master concluded, 
as usual, the Passover-feast with the accustomed 
Hallel, i.e. Pss. cxiv-cxviii (St. Matt. xxvi. 30). 
SS. Paul and Silas, we are told, " while praying, 
sang praises to God," even in prison (Acts 
xvi. 25). The former, too, urges the practice of 
psalmody upon his converts (Eph. v. 19 ; Col. 
iii. 16), and explains its true use (1 Cor. xiv. 26). 
St. James recommends this mode of expressing 
Christian joy of heart (St. James v. 13). And, 
finally, St. John, in his Book of the Revelation, 
undoubtedly borrows his description of the choirs 
and music of heaven from what he had seen 
and heard and joined in, by day and by night 
(2 Chron. xxx. 21 ; Ps. cxxxiv. 1 ; cxxxv. 1, 2), 
beneath the ceiled roof of Herod's gorgeous Temple 
(see Rev. almost passim, and back, p. 46). Then, 
about this time, the crash came — the windows of 
heaven were opened, and the fountains of the 
great deep were broken up, and the flood of 
God's wrath passed over the chosen people's 
soul — overwhelming, destroying, scattering every- 
thing Jewish. Nevertheless, real good came out 
of seeming evil ; and the terrible catastrophe 
itself brought with it new life and enlargement. 



CHRISTIAN EEA TO HENRY PURCELL. 87 

Hebrew Psalmody was by no means lost — much 
less annihilated. After the last mention of 
sacred music in the Bible, we can more or less 
distinctly trace its presence both in Christian 
worship and in the writings of the immediate 
successors of the Apostles. The early converts 
carried it in their memory, in their usage, and. 
above all, in their heart. There can be no 
reasonable doubt that the Psalter was their 
Church Hymn Book, and cavern and private 
house resounded with the musical compositions 
of Asaph and Ethan, and perhaps of King David 
himself. The earliest trustworthy evidence on 
this point is that of Pliny, Proconsul of Bithynia, 
who in his well-known and oft-quoted letter to 
the Emperor Trajan (c. a. d. 104) informs his 
master that a part of the Christian's religious 
services consisted of '"'singing antiphonally (inter 
se invicem) a hymn to Christ as to God " (see 
p. 103. 2). The indirect testimony of the first 
Christian writer is rather earlier than that of 
Pliny. Clemens Romanus — the second or third 
reputed Bishop of Rome (c. A. d. 70-1 co) — con- 
cludes his so-called first Epistle — held by the best 
and most learned critics to be a genuine letter — 
with a kind of Doxology (§§ Hx-lxiv). Whether 
it is the effusion of his own mind, or borrowed 
from some well-known, though as yet unwritten, 
liturgical service, need not be debated here. It 
is interesting to us, as touching our present 



88 ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



purpose, inasmuch as it takes a musical form 
and mould, and parts of it may be divided into 
musical strophes. St. Ignatius, the celebrated 
Bishop of Antioch, who was martyred at Rome 
v. a.d. 115, betrays his musical proclivities 
in his seven (acknowledged) genuine Epistles. 
More than once he uses musical metaphors. For 
instance, he begs the Roman Christians " to form 
a band of love, that they may sing unto the 
Father in Christ Jesus because God hath found 
him worthy, &c." (ad Rom. § ii). He con- 
gratulates the Bishop of the Philadelphians at 
being "in harmony with the commandments, 
as the lyre with its strings " (ad Ph. § i). More 
at length he writes to the Ephesians : " Your 
renowned presbytery, worthy of God, is as 
harmonious with the bishop as the strings are 
with the lyre. Wherefore, by your concord and 
symphony of love is Jesus Christ celebrated ; 
yea, each of you becometh a band. So that ye, 
being harmonious in concord, and having re- 
ceived the song of God in union, sing with one 
voice to the Father ..." (ad Eph. § iv). In this 
latter sentence we have the musical words 
" chorus,' 5 . " symphonos/' " chroma " — from 
which is derived our term " chromatic " — besides 
the reference to the strings of the lyre. We 
need not wonder at the legend, which very 
probably has a substratum of truth, that 
St. Ignatius introduced antiphonal singing into 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. 89 



his Church at Antioch after seeing the same 
vision which was vouchsafed to the prophet 
Isaiah (ch. vi. 1-3). 

Jut-tin Martyr (c. a.d. 130-160) is cur next 
witness. He tells us that " the Word of God, 
when preached, and chanted, and resounded, 
drives away demons ; and that Christians, by 
the sacred songs of the Church, are led onwards 
in the paths of virtue." 

Valentinus (c. a.d. 140-160) composed and 
sang hymns in praise of Gnosticism. 

Arius (c. A. D. 300). with his followers, upheld 
his arch-heresy in rhythmic measures ; while his 
great antagonist, St Athanasius, in his oppo- 
sition, propagated the orthodox Trinitarian doc- 
trines by means of hymns. 

St Cftrysostom (c. A. D. 400) was the first to 
array a band of choristers to celebrate the 
praises of the co-equal Father, Son, and Holy 
Spirit. 

Theodoret (c. a.d. 420-460) informs us that 
the early Christians up to his days learned the 
Psalms by heart, and soothed their anxious and 
bruised hearts with their Divine melody. He 
adds that the Psalms were sung at the Agapai 
or Love-Feasts, and that the sixty-third and one 
hundred and forty-first were, respectively, their 
morning and evening hymns. 

Lastly, St. Augustine (c. A. D. 400-430) con- 
trasts the sober hymnody of the orthodox with 



go 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 



the wild, passionate tunes and singing of the 
Donatists, who endeavoured to inflame and 
sustain the enthusiasm of their fanatical de- 
votees " as with the shrill, sharp tones of a 
trumpet " — 

"Exoritur clamorque virum clangorque tubarum." 

But here we must pause for a moment. The 
days of St. Augustine were the days of St. Am- 
brose ; and to the great and good Bishop of 
Milan is attributed the first serious attempt to 
correct the style and. to give a definiteness of 
form to what had hitherto been crude and 
fluctuating, through being unwritten, and so 
imparted to ecclesiastical music a possibility of 
artistic development. 



CHAPTER II. 



BASIS OF ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 

This chapter must be regarded as paren- 
thetical. It somewhat, perhaps, interrupts the 
history of Church music in its progressive 
changes, modifications, and improvements, to- 
gether with the authors of them. But the brief 
digression is of importance to the reader, inas- 
much as he ought to be acquainted with the 
origin of Ecclesiastical Music — the roots from 
which so fair a tree has grown, the basis upon 
which so perfect a structure has been reared. 

i. It has been already observed in the pre- 
ceding chapter that after St. John's days, — i.e. 
after the destruction of Jerusalem and the 
devastation of the Holy Land, the multiplied 
conversions to Christianity and the subsequent 
"scattering abroad" of the "brethren" through 
persecution, — the Christians still used the Psalter 
and its tunes as their hymn-book. " The earliest 
services of the Christian Church," says Bishop 
Lightfoot, " so far as they were grafted on the 
worship of the Jews, would be indebted to the 
Synagogue, and the Christians would find in their 



92 ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



Jewish surroundings ample precedent for any 
ritual development which for some generations 
they could either desire or compass. As regards 
the substance of public worship, they would 
naturally build upon lines traced by their Jewish 
predecessors. The Common Prayer, the lessons 
from the Law or the Prophets, the chanting 
of the Psalms and of Hymns, the Exposition or 
Homily, all were ready for adoption " {Pat. Ap. 
vol. ii. pt. i. p. 393). 

2. By degrees another pervading element 
made itself felt. The Jews, as I have already 
observed, first came into contact with Greeks 
at Babylon, and afterwards more largely at 
Alexandria. For a long time the early Chris- 
tians looked askance at anything savouring of 
Paganism. Tertullian is peculiarly bitter against 
the sculpture of Greece and Rome, and denounces 
and warns against any approach to what would 
be included in the term " Art." It was a tempta- 
tion of the devil. It was the head and front of 
idolatry — he who sculptured a statue made an 
idol. And so forth. But such severe sentiments 
became mitigated by time ; and intercourse with 
a larger world than their own had the usual 
effect in blunting sharp angles of opinion, in 
softening asperities, and in widening and liberal- 
izing the judgement. Music especially, with its 
melodious harmonies permeating the feelings, 
could not help leaving persuasive impressions 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. 93 



upon the sensibilities of Christian minds. Quite 
probably, composers of ecclesiastical music would 
scarcely borrow consciously from Pagan hymns 
in honour of Apollo, or allow that they were 
indebted for their religious airs to the sensual 
seductive strains which fired wild votaries to 
questionable dances around the altar of Dionysus. 
But Music slowly and silently captured its 
victim, and Christianity became tolerant. This 
Greek infection must have begun very early. 
In due course the simple primitive music of 
Judaism despoiled Paganism of some of its lofty 
religious harmonies ; until, in the days of St. 
Ambrose, it was more or less directly indebted 
to the Greek chorus for its form, and to Greek 
musicians for its soul- inspiring, soul-engrossing 
melodies (M.). 

Speaking broadly, we may therefore say that 
ecclesiastical music had a Hebrew-Hellenk 
parentage. Judaea gave it birth : Greece tem- 
pered and moulded its education. 



CHAPTER III. 



ST. AMBROSE (c. A. D. 374-398) AND ST. GRE- 
GORY THE GREAT (c. A. D. 596-604). 

I. 

It is a curious fact that though St. Ambrose 
is credited with much manipulation of the 
Church music of his time, it is by no means 
certain what form his alterations and improve- 
ments took. Unfortunately, no records survive 
to tell us of the condition of hymnody in his 
day, what point of progress it had reached, what 
were its excellences or deficiencies. It would 
appear, however, that its sacred melodies re- 
mained as yet unwritten, that they were handed 
down from father to son, that they were thus 
preserved simply by tradition, and that thus 
through the efflux of time, and in their transit 
from East to West, a secular accretion had 
gradually formed round them, which, penetrating 
inwardly, was bringing about fatal degeneration. 
The Bishop's interposition, however, restored 
them to health ; and though " we know really 
nothing of the system or structure of the 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 



95 



Ambrosian melodies, and no writings of the 
period show anything essentially different from 
Gregorian Plain-song." yet, if we go further, • 
" the entire accent and style of chanting, as 
regulated by the Bishop, must have been a great, 
because a cultivated and artistic, improvement 
on the manner and form of preceding Church 
services. The Ambrosian Chant could not have 
been very different from the Gregorian Plain- 
song ; for the former was eventually merged, 
though not lost, in the latter " (G.). St. Ambrose 
himself claims a very humble part in this im- 
provement of Church music. " He merely wished 
to take upon himself the task of regulating the 
tonality and the mode of execution of the hymns, 
and psalms, and antiphons, which were sung in 
his newly-founded church in Milan" (G.). He 
is said to have introduced into his diocese 
instrumental music as an adjunct to religious 
services (H.) ; and to have been the first to 
reduce to writing the original tunes of psalms 
and hymns which had been transmitted by oral 
tradition until the days of Constantine, and 
kept alive in the Schola Cantorum, founded 
by Pope Sylvester (c. a.d. 314-336). Finally, 
he took the Praxis of the Eastern Church as 
his model, and preferred the autiphonal to the 
responsal method of singing, and introduced it 
into his cathedral at Milan (G. and H.). 



9 6 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



II 

Under Gregory, supreme Pontiff, a.d. 590- 
604, the ritual of the Church assumed a more 
perfect form and magnificence. The music, the 
animating soul of the whole ritual, was under 
his especial care. He introduced a new mode 
of chanting, which still bears his name, some- 
what richer than that of St. Ambrose, but still 
not departing from solemn simplicity. He 
formed schools of singers which he condescended 
himself to instruct ; and from Rome the science 
was propagated throughout the West. It was 
employed even to soothe and awe the barbarians 
of Britain ; for St. Augustine was accompanied 
" by a school of choristers educated in this art 
at Rome " (M.). 

The original copy of Gregory's Antiphonarium, 
the couch upon which he sat during his in- 
struction of his choir-boys, and the rod with 
which he threatened recalcitrant choristers, were 
long after his death preserved and shown at 
Rome (M.). 

Gregory is credited with the introduction of 
the Antiphonarium in place of the Graduale 
Romanum. The following explanation will make 
this more clear. 

The " Graduale " is an anthem taken from the 
Psalter and sung between the Epistle and Gospel 
by the deacon from the steps (gradus) of the 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. 97 



ambo. The " Graduale Romanum " was a com- 
plete collection of Plain-chant melodies appointed 
to be sung at High Mass throughout the year, 
reduced to writing, and arranged in systematic 
form for the first time by St. Ambrose. 

The "Antiphonarium " of Pope Gregory, which 
superseded it, was the Choir Booh of the Mass. 
It contained the Anthems, Introits, Creed, Kyries, 
and Gloria in Excelsis ; in fact all the musical 
portions of the Mass (H.). And since Gregory, 
if the tradition be true, introduced a system of 
notation such as is attributed to St. Ambrose 
(see above), this, even in its imperfection, greatly 
contributed to the preservation of melodies. In 
the course of years, however, corruption entered. 
The Antiphonarium lost much of its sacred 
character. Secular tunes from the theatre, and 
even dance music, were allowed by degrees to 
creep in and intrude upon the ancient grave 
ecclesiastical compositions, until at length 
Gregory XIII, or rather the Council of Trent, 
appointed Palestrina (c. A. D. 1580-1600) to re- 
store Plain-song to its original purity. 

III. 

It may be reasonably asked, " How came 
about this serious deterioration to Church music, 
and of what kind was it ? " 

It arose from two causes. First, the idleness 

G 



93 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



and negligence which gradually invaded and 
ultimately prevailed in the monasteries and 
mona&tic schools. Secondly, from the intro- 
duction of the so-called Religious Plays. From 
this the reader will be able to infer the nature 
of the deterioration. No doubt the introduction 
of the religious plays was prompted by a good 
and elevating purpose, for it was intended and 
hoped thereby to detach the people from the 
secular drama, which was too often rude, coarse, 
and profane. At first these plays were innocent 
enough : the incidents were borrowed from the 
Bible, and, in spite of some distortion of facts 
and dates, of which the simple-minded audience 
were unconscious, these plays were not without 
instruction and even edification. As they were 
acted in the Church of the Monastery, a certain 
sacredness and solemnity attached itself to the 
performances. But this happy state of things 
did not last. The unholy .Rondos of the gay 
Troubadours were heard commingled with the 
more sober melodies of Holy Church. Certain 
human actions were brought so realistically 
before the eye not only in Church but in nun- 
neries even, in order to scare unsullied, innocent 
lambs from vice, that it may be deemed little 
less than a miracle that any modesty or purity 
whatever survived in the land. As we might 
expect, morals suffered severely ; so also did 
Hymnology and Church music. The same walls. 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. 99 



wherein hymns and melodies of highest and 
divinest fervour had seen the light, now re- 
sounded with the voluptuous strains of amorous 
carols, or with the startling outbursts of jolly, 
rollicking drinking songs worthy of Anacreon 
and Boccaccio. 

So low an ebb had Church music reached 
and so great a scandal had its degraded con- 
dition created in the Catholic world, that it 
became at length a subject for debate and con- 
sideration at the Council of Trent. It was then 
decided by the prelates assembled to apply 
radical and unsparing treatment ; and so the 
duty of excision, renovation, and restoration 
was by them wisely entrusted to the greatest 
master of music at that epoch — the end of the 
sixteenth century — Giovanni Pieroluigi da Pales- 
trina (c. a.d. i 524-1594). 



CHAPTER IV. 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC ABROAD : 
PALESTRINA. 

Giovanni Pieroluigi da Palestrina was 
born at Palestrina, the ancient Praeneste, a.d. 
1524. At the age of sixteen he went to Rome 
and studied music under the great Belgian 
musician, Orlando di Lasso, born at Hainault in 
a.d. 1520, to whom, as to others of the Belgian 
school of music, Italy owes a great debt. The 
art of interweaving parts and that science of 
sound known as Counterpoint were placed by 
these northern musicians upon a solid basis, 
which enabled the composers who came after 
them to build their beautiful tone-fabrics in 
forms of imperishable grace and symmetry. To 
him the young Palestrina, though they were 
close upon the same age, owed much of the 
largeness and beauty of form through which he 
poured his genius in the creation of his un- 
rivalled musical compositions. Di Lasso was at 
once his mentor and model. Under such tuition 
Palestrina rose to celebrity. In 1551 he was 
appointed Maestro di Capella of the Julian 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 



IOI 



Chapel. In 1554 he published a collection of 
Masses, so highly approved of by Pope Julius III 
that he was made by that pope one of the 
singers of the Pontifical Chapel. In 1555 he 
was raised to the post of choir-master at the 
Church of Sta. Maria Maggiore, which he held 
until 1 57 1, when he was restored to his office at 
St. Peter's, from which he had retired in 1555 
through Pope Paul's (IV) objection to the em- 
ployment of married men in the church services. 
In 1563 the Council of Trent, having condemned 
the profane words and secular music which had 
been introduced into the Mass, entrusted Pales- 
trina with the task of remodelling that part of 
religious worship. He published three Masses 
on the reformed plan ; and one of them, Missa 
Papae Marcelli, is described as being equal to 
what St. John heard in the New Jerusalem. 
The fact is that at this date Church music had 
lost all relation to the services it was supposed 
to illustrate. Bristling with inapt and distracting 
artifices it completely overlaid the situations of 
the Mass ; and, being founded upon secular 
melodies, it was usual for the most solemn 
phrases of the Kyrie, Credo, Gloria, and Agnus 
Dei to roll along the aisles of the basilica, 
blended with the unedifying refrains of the 
lewd chansons of Flanders and Provence. Ballad 
and dance music was actually played upon the 
organ. Palestrina may be considered to have 



102 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



saved Church music by establishing a type 
infinitely beyond anything which had preceded 
it, not however so much in its technique as in 
its aesthetic character. Art was subjugated to 
the service of nature ; learning to effect ; in- 
genuity to the laws of beauty. He endowed 
the perfect form with the spirit which enabled 
it not only to live but to give thanks to God in 
strains such as music had never before imagined. 
It was not the beauty of construction, but the 
presence of the soul within, that rendered his 
music immortal. With Palestrina the reign of 
true polyphony came to an end, but it took 
deep root and bore much fruit during his life- 
time in many distant countries. Amidst all the 
changes which Church music has since passed 
through, the compositions of this grand musician 
have to this day been found to contain those 
essentials of true, lasting beauty which will 
render them a "joy for ever" (G., li., and 
others). 

Pope Gregory XIII commissioned Palestrina 
to revise the " Graduale" and " Antiphonarium." 
The latter he entrusted to his pupil, Guidetti ; 
the former he himself undertook, but died before 
the completion of his labours. He died in 
poverty in the year 1594. 

i. Gregory XIII (pope a.d. 1572-1585) was zealous for the 
promotion and improvement of education. Upon this good 
cause he expended vast sums of money. A large proportion 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. IO3 



of the colleges in Rome were wholly or in part endowed by 
him. We are indebted to him for the Gregorian Calendar. 

2. The difference between antiphonal and responsal sing- 
ing is this : — 

In antiphonal singing alternate choirs sing the Psalms, 
in turn, verse by verse, as in our English cathedrals and 
churches. 

In responsal, one voice only sings a verse, to which the 
whole choir respond in the verse following (for an illustra- 
tion, see p. 20). 

3. The ambo. in Eastern churches, was a kind of raised desk 
or dais from which the Epistle and Gospel were read. The 
pulpit was called bema. 

4. The l< - Graduate" and " Antiphonarium " have been 
explained (pp. 96, 97). 

5. Palcstrina was the first to take the melody from the 
tenor and place it in the treble. 



CHAPTER V. 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC IN ENGLAND : 
HENRY PURCELL. 

The archetype of Ecclesiastical music, thus 
set up by Palestrina, was never afterwards 
ignored or forsaken. It became the model of all 
subsequent great musicians and composers, both 
on the Continent and in England. 

This chapter will contain a brief account of 
the condition of Church music in our own 
country. 

We know little of the Hymnody of the early 
British Church, though there is evidence that 
she was not without her sacred music. It 
received new life, however, from St. Augustine's 
choristers ; and St. Dunstan, the celebrated Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, undoubtedly imparted to 
it growth and expansion. He himself was a 
composer and organ- builder. Choristers were 
educated in the monasteries, and though in some 
cases episcopal visitations disclosed too much 
laziness and half-heartedness in the monkish 
choir-masters, we do not find on the whole that 
Church music ever sank into such depths of 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 



degradation as we have had to deplore (in pre- 
ceding pages-) with respect to religious houses 
on the Continent. Perhaps our natural sturdi- 
ness of character had something to do with 
saving our nunneries and monasteries from this 
disgrace. The English have always been fond 
of music ; and certain counties have from time 
immemorial prevailed over their brethren in the 
matter of a sensitive ear and fine voices. Hence 
our great church and college-builders have not 
overlooked the claims of music, nor forgotten to 
foster and promote its growth and development. 
AYilliam of Wykeham, for example, and William 
of Wayneflete both left, in the rules of their 
newly-founded colleges, directions for the admis- 
sion of choristers, their maintenance, and educa- 
tion. Even the enigmatical words of Archbishop 
Chichele, touching the admission of students 
into his college of All Souls at Oxford, have 
received a favourable interpretation. " They 
are to be born in wedlock, not out at elbows, 
and have some knowledge of the elements and 
principles of music " — bene nati, bene vestiti, ac 
moderate docti (in piano cantu). Occasionally 
a genius shoots out of mediaeval darkness and 
for a time illumines his day and generation. 
John (of) Dunstable, though regarded as a 
charlatan by old Thomas Fuller, appears to 
have been a really capable musician, mathema- 
tician, and astrologer. His compositions and 



IC6 ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



writings are stored in the British Museum, and 
in the Bodleian and Lambeth Libraries. But 
his name and work were overwhelmed and extin- 
guished by troublous times — the Wars of the 
Roses. In due course came Prince Henry, the 
second son of Henry VII, who was trained in 
the musical schools preparatory to his purposed 
exalted position in the future as occupant of the 
Archiepiscopal Throne of Canterbury. But his 
elder brother dying, he became heir to the 
Crown. He did not, however, either as Prince 
of Wales or as King of England, forget the 
musical pursuits of his early days. He pro- 
moted the welfare of the science, and befriended 
its votaries. During his successors' reigns we 
find the names of R. Farrant (c. 1 564-1580) ; 
W. Byrde* (1569-1623) ; Thomas Tallis, and 
Christopher Tye (c. 1 585) ; Orlando Gibbons 
(c. 1625) ; and T. Blow (c. 1669). Each of these 
held high positions either in the Chapel Royal 
or in our cathedrals. Thomas Tallis is rightly 
regarded as a Prince among musicians. And 
Blow deserves the praise of posterity for humbly 
resigning his office in the Chapel Royal, in the 
year 1669, to 

Henry Purcell. 

This extraordinary man and pre-eminent 
musician is generally regarded as the " Father 
of English Ecclesiastical music." This specially 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. IO7 



consists of hymns, anthems, services, and Latin 
psalms. In it he shows his great mastery of 
fugue, canon, imitation, and other scholastic 
devices, combined with fine harmony and expres- 
sive melody, the introduction of novel and 
beautiful forms, enriching it, yet preserving its 
broad and solemn style. As the improver of our 
Cathedral music, the originator of English 
melody, the introducer of a new and more 
effective employment of the orchestra in accom- 
paniment, excelling all others in his accurate, 
vigorous, and energetic setting of English words, 
Purcell stands out as the most extraordinary 
and original musical genius produced by our 
country. He was, moreover, a profound thinker ; 
and it is precisely this earnestness of purpose, 
this careful thought, this profound intention, 
which gave him such superiority- over his fellow- 
labourers in the same sphere. We recognize 
a great ideal in everything he touches, and his 
music is always coloured in accordance with the 
sentiment of the words. 

Purcell left a noble school behind him. Greene, 
Boyce, Nares, Welldon, Aldrich, could all boast 
of belonging to it. They were, however, scarcely 
able to uphold it at the same high level. Hence 
followed a period of decadence, until an unex- 
pected importation of foreign talent gave hopes 
of a yet more brilliant future (G., and others). 
Once again ecclesiastical music revived under 



io8 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 



the auspices of giants such as Handel, Haydn, 
Mozart, Bach, and their confreres. Yet let us 
never forget the inexpressible debt which English 
Church music owes to Henry Purcell, and which 
can never be fully repaid. The tree, which he 
may be said to have planted, took root down- 
ward too deep to be susceptible of any per- 
manent injury. Once again it flourished apace ; 
and posterity now sits with delight under its 
shade and with enjoyment partakes of its 
fruit. 

Henry Purcell was born a.d. 3658, died of 
consumption a.d. 1695, and was buried in West- 
minster Abbey, under the organ. (See App. V.) 



u His memorial shall not depart away ; and his name 
Shall live from generation to generation." 



CHAPTER VI. 



BRIEF SUMMARY OF FOREIGN DATES. 

A. I). 

1. Pliny, Proconsul of Bithynia, informs 

the Emperor Trajan concerning the 
meetings of the Christians and their 
custom to sing a hymn, " inter se 
invicem " . . . . c. 104 

2. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, in Syria, 

introduces antiphonal singing into his 
cathedral and diocese . . c. 107-115 

3. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, introduces 

antiphonal singing, together with Galli- 
can liturgy . . . . c. 160-200 

4. Sylvester, Bishop of" Home, founds 

choir-schools for boys, mostly orphans 

c - 314-33 6 

5. Damasus, Bishop of Home, enjoins the 

singing, instead of the reciting of the 
Psalms, and that each shall be con- 
cluded with "the Gloria Patri" 

c - 3 6 7"3 8 4 



IIO ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 

6. Basil, Bishop of Cappadocia, Caesarea, 

introduces antiphonal singing into his 
diocese . . . . . c. 371-379 

7. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, makes im- 

provements in Church music . c. 374-398 

8. Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constanti- 

nople, introduces antiphonal singing 
into his church and diocese ; and 
organizes a band of choristers to chant 
the praises of the Sacred Trinity. 

c. 399-407 

9. Hilary, Bishop of Aries, said by some 

writers to have introduced antiphonal 
singing into Gallic Church . c. 429-449 

10. Celestine, Bishop of Rome, introduced 
"Introits" .... 422-432 

11. Gregory the Great, Bishop of Rome, 
improves the musical services . c. 590-604 

12. Gregory the Thirteenth, Bishop of 
Rome, Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso 

c. 1 540-1594 



CHAPTER VII. 



BRIEF SUMMARY OF ENGLISH DATES. 

A. D. 

j. The early British Church (tradi- 
tionally) possessed sacred music c. 400-600 

2. Augustine introduces Roman choristers 

with " plain song " into England : this 
was the beo-innin^ of various "uses" 
at Sarum, Lincoln, &c. . . . c. 597 

3. Hymn in honour of Augustine, written 

in a Benedictine monastery in Corn- 
wall . . . . . . c. 900 

4. Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, 

composer and organ-builder . . c. 960 

5. ANGELUS AD VlRGINEM . . . C. I2CO 

6. John (of) Dunstable, wrongly credited 

with the invention of counterpoint, one 
of the chief writers and composers of 
music in England. " We first meet 
with counterpoint in the compositions 
of Gerson, Chancellor of Notre Dame, 
a.d. 1408" (R.) . . . c. 1415-1453 



112 ecclesiastical music. 

7. Hamboys, Saintkoix, and Habygham 

were the first to take academic degrees : 
they, with Fairfax, were pre-Reforma- 
tion musicians . . . c. 1450- 1500 

8. Henry the Eighth . . c 1 509-1 547 

9. Bull (who has been questionably credited 

with the composing of " God save the 
Queen "), Tallis, Farrant, and others, 
predecessors of . . . c. 1564-1650 

10. HENRY PURCELL . . c. 1658-1695 

11. Boyce, Aldrich, and other successors 
ofPurcell . . . . c. 1695- 17 80 

12. HANDEL . . . . c. 1710-1759 

Notf. — The first English secular song, a 
round, with words of Northumbrian 
origin — the oldest extant piece of Poly- 
phonic and Canonical music, called 
" Sumer is a-cumen in," with two other 
pieces, copied by a monk of Reading c. 1228 



CHAPTER VIII. 



MUSIC AS AN INFLUENCE. 

"The man that hath no music in himself, 
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, 
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils." 

Shakspeare. 

I. 

I. It will be interesting to conclude our 
subject with a few words on the influence of 
music. Even the animal creation is subject to 
it : and man, with his complex organization, is 
by no means insensible to it. 

Music and poetry are twin-sisters — as old as 
the world's creation — pre-eminently gifts of God, 
born with us and within us. As quaint old 
Fuller puts it, " Music is poetry in sounds, as 
poetry is music in words." Jubal discourses 
simple trills and melodies upon his shepherd's 
pipe. Lamech, his father, declaims his "Apologia" 
in vocal strophes. The influence of the poet is 
described by Tennyson : 

"With his [the poet's] word 
She [wisdom] shook the world." 

And if so, we can scarcely wonder that Plato lays 
down for his ideal '• Republic " that poets should 

H 



114 ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



be " superintended," that they may become 
"austere, and not too fascinating and ready to 
imitate the style of the virtuous man." 

And what are we to say of the influence of the 
true musician ? <; The meaning of song goes 
deep," writes Carlyle. " Who is there that can 
in logical words express the effect music has on 
us? A kind of articulate unfathomable speech 
which leads us to the edge of the infinite, and 
lets us for a few moments gaze into that abyss." 
The ancients, by anticipation, endorsed that 
opinion by the curious legends which entranced 
our younger days. Amphion by his lyre drew 
after him stones and trees as well as lions and 
other of the brute creation, and charmed into 
ordered lines the walls of Thebes. 

Arion owed his life to a friendly dolphin 
attracted to the ship's side by the melodious 
strains of his lyre. And what are we to say 
of Orpheus ? 

"For Orpheus' lure was strung with poet's sinews, 
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones, 
Make tigers tame, and huge leviathans 
Forsake unsounded deeps to land on sands." 

(Shakspeaue.) 

Horses, sheep, dogs, rats and mice, spiders, and 
many other animals, are singularly sensitive to 
music. On the other hand, kine, cats, and 
donkeys appear to be unmoved by it — the 
donkey probably because it's an ass. 

2. Passing on to human beings, Plato, who 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. 1 15 



felt he could not altogether exclude music from 
his ideal Republic, laid down very strict rules on 
the subject. All melodies that were lax and 
sensual, and tending to enervate the soul, were 
strictly forbidden. Only such as were martial 
and were calculated to brace the moral fibre of 
the citizens were allowed, or, rather, tolerated. 
Most musical instruments were excluded, except 
the lyre and guitar for the town, and " some kind 
of pipe " for the herdsmen in the country. And 
so on. to the same effect. " For music, I imagine, 
ought to end in the love of the beautiful " (Plato, 
Rep. bk. iii). 

Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the 
Great, was obliged to withdraw all music from 
his army, as the barbaric strains drove his 
soldiery wild with ungovernable fits of fury. 
In more modern times, and under more favour- 
able circumstances, military bands enliven and 
reinvigorate weary regiments on their march, 
and have done untold wonders in the day of 
battle. 

"The Arcadians, living in their secluded 
mountain-glens, were } T et so impressed with the 
humanizing influences of music, that they would 
only send their children to schools where music 
was taught" (Pausan. bk. vi). 

Nor must we forget the Medical aspect of 
music. Homer, Pindar, Theophrastus, and their 
brethren, all sing its virtues in cases of ague, 
h a 



Il6 ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



gout, the bite of serpents, and other maladies 
and disasters. Not many centuries ago Sir 
William Temple advocated the alleviating 
influences of music, as evidenced in such cases 
as King Saul (i Sam. xvi. 23) and the Prophet 
Elisha (2 Kings iii. 14). Isaac D'Israeli, in his 
Curiosities of Literature, tells the following 
curious story. A certain Englishman, rinding 
himself suffering from some temporary incon- 
venience of indigestion, instead of calling in his 
physician, sent for a band of music. In about an 
hour, " his stomach, which had been internally 
disturbed, became harmoniously becalmed ! " 
The reason of this happy result from the means 
used is suggested by an Aesculapius of the 
period. " Medical music quickens the circula- 
tion of the blood, dissipates vapours, and opens 
the pores so as to allow the freer action of the 
perspiration." If so, this explains to a certain 
extent the efficacy of music in the case of fevers, 
agues, and snakebites. A king of Spain is said 
to have been cured of a distressing brain-disease 
by repeatedly listening to the singing of the 
celebrated singer, Farinelli. It was not, how- 
ever, an infallible remedy, or even palliative 
(1 Sam. xviii. 10, 11 ; xix. 9, ]o). 

II. 

But it is time now to turn to Ecclesiastical 
music. The remarks which have been made on 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. II 7 



the moving influences of music generally pre- 
pare us for the emotional effect left by Sacred 
music upon the feelings of its hearers. 

St. Augustine of Hippo touchingly makes 
confession of this, as he listened to the singing 
of the Psalms in St. Ambrose's Cathedral at 
Milan. " How I did weep in thy hymns and 
canticles, touched to the quick by the voices of 
sweetly-attuned Church ! The voices flowed into 
mine ears, and the truth distilled into mine heart, 
whence the affections of my devotion overflowed, 
and tears ran down, and happy was I therein " 
(Confessions, bk. ix). And again, he writes, 
" When I remember the tears I shed at the 
psalmody of thy Church, in the beginning of my 
recovered faith, and how at this time I am 
moved, not at the sino-in^, but at the things sungr 
— when they are sung with a clear voice and 
modulation most suitable — I acknowledge the 
greatness of their institution. And I am inclined 
rather to approve of the usage of singing in the 
Church, that so, by the delight of the ears, the 
weaker minds may be raised to feelings of devo- 
tion" (Confessions, bk. x). Those were stirring 
times of contention and persecution. In order 
to keep the Arians out of a certain church " the 
devout people kept watch in it. . . . And then it 
was first instituted that, after the manner of the 
Eastern Churches, hymns and psalms should be 
sung, lest the people should wax feeble through 



Il8 ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



the tediousness of sorrow ; and this custom is 
retained through other parts of the world " 
(Confessions, bk. ix). 

This arresting influence of music was recognized 
in a very practical manner by many preachers in 
the semi-barbarous Anglo-Saxon Church — and 
with good effect. Aldhem of Malmesbury, finding 
the people indifferent to religion, would take his 
stand on a certain bridge in the garb of a minstrel, 
and after staying the crowd by enthralling them 
with the sweetness of his minstrelsy, would 
gradually introduce into his secular lay some of 
the solemn and wholesome truths of the Gospel. 
Thus he succeeded in evoking a deeper devotion, 
and won many hearts to the faith. Hence, 
music became part and parcel of the Church 
service in England, if not from earlier times, at 
any rate from the days of Pope Gregory's mission. 
From Kent to Northumbria instruction was given 
by eminent choir-masters in the Gregorian " use " 
and in antiphonal chanting (M.). Provision was 
made in monasteries for this musical instruction, 
and also by episcopal and other founders and 
restorers of cathedrals and colleges (see p. 105). 
Nevertheless, Church music has its perils and 
dangers. Like fire, it is a " good servant, but 
a bad master." St. Augustine of Hippo sounds 
the alarm. " The delights of the ear had en- 
tangled and subdued him. He reposes in such 
melodies when sung in a sweet and attuned 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. II9 

voice. He, therefore, is afraid that he gives 
God's word more honour when sung than when 
not sung. And hence he fluctuates on the 
wisdom of having the Psalms sung, lest there be 
contentment of the flesh, and the soul be ener- 
vated. On the other hand, he is afraid of erring 
in too great strictness, so as to wish the sweet 
melodies to be banished from his ears and from 
the Church. And though he confesses he makes 
a kind of ' base compromise ' for the good of 
weak minds, yet he feels that he has sinned 
penally when he has been moved by the voice 
singing rather than by the words sung " (Con- 
fessions, bk. x). 

Bishop Jeremy Taylor (b. A.n. 1613, d. 1667) 
whose very prose was poetry, and every sen- 
tence a golden Michtam, sounds the same caution. 

The use of Psalmody, because it can stir up 
the affections and make religion excite more 
faculties, is very apt for the edification of 
churches. The use of musical instruments may 
also add some little advantages to singine : but 
they are more apt to change religion into airs 
and fancies, and take off some of its simplicity, 
and are not so fitted for edification. They are 
not, of themselves, very good ministers of re- 
ligion, because they do not make a man wiser, 
or instruct him in anything." Then the good 
bishop goes on to quote St. Chrysostom to the 
effect that " such instruments were permitted to 



120 ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC FROM THE 



the Jeivs in their worship ' for their weakness ' ; . . . 
we can proper] y and directly serve God by the 
voice and tongue, and as well by singing and 
saying, and better, if it be better — which can 
never be said of instrumental music. Still, I 
cannot condemn it as a help to Psalmody. Yet, 
all sensible persons find fault when music passes 
farther into art than religion, and serves plea- 
sure more than devotion, when it is made so 
curious and accurate that none but musicians 
can join in it, and so the greatest benefit and use 
of edification is lost. ' Salus populi suprema 
Lex esto ' is a rule which in this affair hath no 
exception; the salvation of our soul is more 
than all other interests in the world beside." 

Bishop Sanderson (fl. c. a. d. 1587-166!) had 
to meet objections of the opposite kind, viz. those 
from unmusical sectaries. " They would do 
away with all instrumental music because, as 
they say, it tended not to edification, but rather 
hindered it, because there cometh no instruction 
nor other fruit to the understanding; and there- 
fore such things ought to be cast oat of the 
Church, as things unlawful. But (continues the 
Bishop) it does not follow that, because there is 
no benefit to the understanding, therefore there 
is no edification. The objectors should consider 
that whatsoever thing advanceth the service of 
God, or furthereth the growth of the Church, or 
conduceth to the increasing of any spiritual 



CHRISTIAN ERA TO HENRY PURCELL. 12 1 



grace or enlivening of any holy affection in us, 
and serveth to the outward exercise or best 
expression of any such grace or affection as joy, 
fear, thankfulness, cheerfulness, reverence, or any 
other, doubtless, every such thing so far forth 
serveth more or less unto edification " (Sermon 
xii. ad Aulam). 

The "judicious Hooker" (c. A. D. i 554-1600) 
agrees in the main with Bishop Sanderson, but as 
the objections of the Puritans and his replies are 
too long for quotation, the reader is referred to 
his Ecclesiastical Polity, bk. v. eh. xxxviii. 1, 2, 3. 
Through all these contentions and struggles for 
recognition, perhaps almost for existence, music, 
even in its religious uses, conquered and survived. 
It had a great defender and upholder in Martin 
Luther, who writes: "Music is the art of the 
prophets, the only art that can calm the agita- 
tions of the soul. It is one of the most mag- 
nificent and delightful presents God has given 
us." And so Addison, in equally laudatory 
terms : " Music is the only sensual gratification 
which mankind may indulge in to excess without 
injury to their moral and religious feelings." 
Indeed, the very word "music" testifies to a 
certain pre-eminent influence which it possesses ; 
for it is derived from the Greek " mousike " or 
" culture," a term embracing all that can. 
through education, civilize and humanize man. 
But hence arise all the responsibilities to the 



122 



ECCLESIASTICAL MUSIC. 



students and votaries of music ; and they will do 
well to take heed to the wise warning of Mr. 
Ruskin : u Everything that we offer should be 
precious and helpful ; and music which does not 
purify and exalt is virtually not music at all." 
If his monitory voice be listened to, we may 
hope and expect that the anticipation of an 
eminent musical writer and critic will find ample 
fulfilment : — 

f< Music promises to become in England, what it 
has long been in Germany, a running Commentary 
upon all life, the Solace of a nation's cares, the 
Companion of its revelry, the Minister of its 
pleasure, the inspired Aid to its devotion " 
(Haweis). 



Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord." 



APPENDIX I. 



SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF EARLY 
MUSICAL NOTATION. 

As the Ambrosian . and Gregorian system of 
music has been brought before the reader in 
the preceding pages, it may not be out of place 
to explain it a little more fully. 

Let me. however, first premise the following : — 
i. We have no copy, no specimen left us, of 
the written music of the Hebrew, Assyrian, 
Babylonian, or Egyptian nations. Their' nota- 
tion, i. e. the shape of their notes, their value, 
the method of their composition, are all unknown 
to us. A Greek tablet lately discovered at 
Delphi, on which is inscribed the melody of 
a hymn to Apollo, does not help us much beyond 
suggesting the shape of the notes. There are no 
ledger lines ; and the notes are placed in a row, 
some higher, some lower, than the others, as 
though to denote high and low sounds. It is, 
of course, quite possible to imagine what the 
melody intended may be ; but, after all, it should 
be remembered that what is eliminated out of 
this " higgledy-piggledy " concatenation of notes 
and marks by clever musicians is merely guess- 
work. If Oriental notation was of this kind, it 
is difficult to see how any learner could be sure 



124 



APPENDIX I. 



of the melody intended by the composer. But 
possibly the difficulty was surmounted thus. 
The Asaph or Ethan of his day, having com- 
mitted his composition to paper, then gathered 
his class together and sang it to the words of the 
Psalm, pointing to the notes jotted down and 
held up before his scholars. Thus they would 
learn the melody by rote, and it would be 
handed down traditionally from generation to 
generation of musical guilds. The written copy, 
if kept, might be regarded as a sort of " memoria 
technica " ; for such instruction was rather 
a matter of the ear and memory than of 
the eye. 

2. After a time, one red line was drawn along 
the centre of the manuscript, and three notes 
were placed — one below, one on, one above it. 
Later still, another line, of a different colour — 
green or black — was added, but still at some 
distance from the red line. On, above, and 
below this three more notes were placed. Thus 
six out of the seven notes of the double tetra- 
chord were provided for, the seventh being, like 
the Irishman's superfluous pigling, left out in 
the cold and having to take care of itself. In 
due course came the four lines of the Ambrosian 
and Gregorian "plain song"; but, in their 
system, no notes were written within the s2Kices. 
And so this method continued until the end of 
the fifteenth century, " when four lines were 
ruled for plain chant ; six for organ music ; five 
for vocal music ; and after the introduction of 
printing, the five lines survived the others, and 
were alone used for music of every kind " (G.). 

3. Ancient music (so far as we can gather), as 
also the Ambrosian and Gregorian " modes," had 



APPENDIX II. 



no sharps or fiats. These useful and now all- 
necessary intruders found their way into the 
musical system first as accidentals, about the 
time (perhaps a little later) of Guido d'Arezzo, 
c. A. D. 1025, who is credited, not quite accurately, 
with the invention of the gamut. These in- 
truders, however, became in course of time 
welcome as permanent friends, as they were 
found useful, and even needful, to define the 
various " keys." This was at the end of the 
fifteenth century. 

APPENDIX II. 

THE AMBROSIAN AND GREGORIAN SYSTEM. 

The Ambrosian and Gregorian system is said 
to be based on the Greek tetrachord. This term 
is derived from two Greek words signifying 
" four chords " ; £; chords," however, in this case 
is not to be understood in our modern sense 
of a " group of notes combined," but of the 
" cords " or " strings " of the Greek lyre. A 
tetrachord, then, is the " succession of four 
strings, or sounds, or notes." 

The manner of forming a tetrachord is as 
follows : — Take a note — any note you please — 
as a central note from which you begin to count. 
First count three notes downwards, and this is 
the simple tetrachord. Then take again the 
same central note, and count three notes up- 
xvards. Thus is formed a second tetrachord, and 
the whole compass, from the lowest to the highest 
note, makes a double tetrachord. There are 



126 



APPENDIX II. 



really only seven different notes, but as the 
central one is counted twice, this repetition of 
course causes each tetrachord to be composed 
of four notes. To our ears this would suggest 
a discord, and the question naturally arises — 
" why did not the Greeks go up one note higher, 
and so strike the octave V forgetting that the 
note next to the seventh is the commencement 
of a new tetrachord. 

Take any note, say G, as the central. Then 
counting three downwards we get G, F, E, D — 
this is our first tetrachord. Again, taking G as 
the central and counting three upwards, we get 
G, A, B, C. This is our second tetrachord. The 
double tetrachord will therefore be 

D, E, F, gT"g, A, B, C. 

I 2 

and the higher D, which would be our octave, 
starts a new tetrachord, and so on ad infinitum. 

The centred note was called the mese, from 
the Greek feminine form of the word niaos. 

The central note was also called the dominant, 
because it was the predominant sound in each 
<: mode," that is, it was the note on which the 
recitation was made in each psalm or canticle 
tone. 

The lowest note was called the final, because 
the melody in the Ambrosian system always 
ended on that note. This final note corresponds 
with our tonic. 

This tetrachord musical form or basis must be 
very ancient. Virgil is supposed to refer to it 
when he tells us that in the Elysian Fields 
" Orpheus with his linger or the quill woke up 



APPENDIX II. 



127 



the melodious sounds of the seven-stringed 
lyre "- 

" Se tern discrimina vocum," 

and so we are taken far back into the mists of 
antiquity. 

"Modes." 

I have been obliged to use this ancient musical 
term several times, and now I shall try to explain 
its meaning. We are still in a Greek atmosphere, 
though the term "mode" is rather of Latin origin, 
and is a shortened form of " modulation." 

"Modes" virtually correspond with our "keys." 
While we should speak of the key of A B C, and 
so forth, our forefathers would speak of the 
"Lydian mode,'' "the Aeolian mode," "the 
Dorian mode," and so on. These " modes " had 
necessarily a " minor," or somewhat plaintive, 
sound through the absence of sharps and flats — 
which had not been then discovered or intro- 
duced (p. 124. 3). 

Each of the Ambrosian " modes " consists of 
eight natural notes, i. e. from the lower note to 
its octave above (inclusive) in the diatonic scale. 

The Ambrosian " modes " were four in number, 
and termed authentic. Derived from the Greek, 
this word has had several meanings attached to 
it. Probably it signifies " genuine," (i original," 
"authoritatively " derived from the Greek system, 
and therefore superior to all others. 

The Gregorian" modes" were eight in number 
— Gregory adding four to the original Ambrosian 
four. These newly-added four were called 
plagal, from a Greek word meaning " oblique," 
" borrowed," " deviating," like a side stream 



128 



APPENDIX III. 



from the main river. The sacred melodies based 
upon these " modes " were called plain song or 
canto fevmo. The former name was given to 
these ecclesiastical chants, because " St. Ambrose 
selected from the extremely complicated system 
of the Greeks a set of scales sufficiently few and 
simple for a very rude people" (Chambers Encyc). 
The latter, because " the melody is the property 
of the Church, the acknowledged song of the 
congregation ; as such, it does not admit of 
alteration, and is therefore called ' cantus 
firm us ' or 4 canto firmo,' that is, the estab- 
lished, the unalterable song" (Marx). The use 
of " Gregorians " was continued in churches, with 
varied interruptions, until the reign of our 
Charles I, when plain song " became restricted 
to versicles and responses, and the double chant 
was introduced — a blow from which " Grego- 
rians " have never since entirely recovered. 



APPENDIX III. 

SPECIMENS OF JEWISH MELODIES. 

Great caution should be used in accepting 
the traditions concerning Hebrew melodies. 
How can we believe that a penitential hymn, 
still sung by Jewish congregations in Hamburg 
and Vienna, is exactly the same melody as that 
composed and sung by King David 1 That the 
" blessing of the priests " (Num. vi. 22-26) is 
identical with the tune intoned in the Temple ? 
That another favourite, " the song of Moses," has 
travelled down the ages in a genuine condition 



APPENDIX IV. 



129 



from the days when Moses and Miriam sang it 
on the shores of the Red Sea ? The old proverb 
has so much truth in it — " When history becomes 
silent, fable takes upon herself to speak " (E.). 
Nevertheless, there are some melodies extant 
which are very ancient and undoubtedly of 
Hebrew origin. The " Yigdel " hymn of faith, 
which is sung in the Jewish Synagogues as part 
of their Friday evening service, is to be found 
in Christian hymn-books under the name of 
" Leoni." and adapted to the words "The God 
of Abraham praise.' ' 

But there is another melody more ancient and 
equally genuine. It is a setting of Ps. xcii. in 
chant form, which is exceedingly interesting from 
the fact that it is sung all the world over to the 
same tune during some part of the Sabbath — 
generally at the introductory service on Fridays, 
at sunset. About one-third of the Psalm is here 
appended ; and the same music is repeated twice 
to the remaining two-thirds. (C. G. Verrinder, 
Mus. Doc, organist at the Jewish Synagogue, 
London, W.) See pp. 132-134. 



APPENDIX IV. 



THE BAGPIPE. 

It may seem strange to some of my readers to 
be told that the Bagpipe was a very ancient and 
common instrument of music. Yet its construc- 



1 



i3° 



APPENDIX IV. 



tion is really of a very simple kind. Homer 
suggests the idea when he tells us of Aeolus that 

"The adverse winds in leathern bags (d<r«o?) he braced, 
Compressed their force, and locked each struggling blast." 

{Od. x.) 

But this idea had been long observed before 

Homer's time, and put into practical form : for it 

only needed a clever mechanician to observe that 

if a pipe could be thrust into a bladder or some 

elastic substance previously filled with air, and 

the exit of the wind on pressure duly regulated, 

the result would be an emission of sound. Hence 

it has been a favourite instrument of music for 

centuries among antique nations, like those of 

China, India, Java, and Ceylon. Thence it 

travelled westward and found its way to Assyria 

and Babylonia — at least, so writers tell us, though 

confessedly no representations have as yet been 

found on their sculptures. It passed over to 

Greece, under the name of aanavk^s, and on to 

Rome under that of utricularius ; Nero played 

on it (Suet. Ner. 54), and had it stamped on some 

of his coins. It is still a favourite instrument in 

Italy, where it is known as Piva or Cornamusa ; 

in Spain as Zampogna ; and in Egypt as Zo- 

u£garah. It is doubtful whether the ancient 

. ... 
Egyptians were acquainted with it. It is. as we 

know well, the national music of Scotland ; and 

the time was when it was not a stranger in 

England — 

"Yea — or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe." 

(SlIAKSPEARE.) 



APPENDIX V. 



APPENDIX V. 

Inscription on mural tablet to Henry Pur cell 
in Westminster Abbey. 

HERE LYES 

HENRY PURCELL, ESQb. 

WHO LEFT THIS LIFE 
AND IS GONE TO THAT BLESSED PLACE 
WHERE ONLY HIS HARMONY 

CAN BE EXCEEDED 
OBIJT 2I mo DIE NOVEMBRS 
ANNO AETATIS SUAE 37 ra0 
ANNOQ3 DOMINI 1695. 

Inscription on slab over grave of Henry Pure ell 
in north aide of choir, Westminster Abbey, 

HIC REQUIESCIT 

HENRICUS PURCELL 

HUJUS ECCLESIAE COLLEGIATAE 
ORGANISTA 
OB. XXI NOV. AN. AETAT. SUAE XXXVII 
A.D. MDCXCV 

PLAUDITE, FELICES SUPERI, TAKTO HOSPITE ; NOSTRIS 

PRAEFUERAT, VESTRIS ADDITUR ILLE CHORIS I 

INVIDA NEC VOBIS PURCELLUM TERRA REPOSCAT, 

QUESTA DECUS SECLI DELICIASQUE BREVES 

TAM CITO DECESSISSE, MODOS CUI SINGULA DEBET 

MUSA PROPHANA SUOS. RELIGIOSA SUOS. 

VIVIT, 10 ET VIVAT, DUM VICINA ORGANA SPIRANT 

DUMQUE COLET NUMERIS TURBA CANORA DEUM. 

FRANCISCA 
Henrici Purcell uxor 
cum conjuge sepulta est 
xii feb. mdccvi. 

Restored by public subscription 1876. 



132 SUPPLEMENT TO APPENDIX III. 

"TOB LEHODOT," 
Psalm XCII. 

"MIZMOR SHIR LEYOM HASHSH ABBAT, " 
Sabbath Psalm. 

Ancient Melody harmonized by Dr. C. G. Yerrinder. 




nai U - 16-zaui - mer le-shim-cha ngel yon le hag - gid bah • 



$=4 


T'j'j 








: — T: 

1 


ho - ker chas - de - 


cha ve 


- C - ran - na - t 


C - cha 


bal-le - 


lot 



SUPPLEMENT TO APPENDIX III. 



133 




i34 



SUPPLEMINT TO APPENDIX III. 



" YIGDAL " HYMN OF FAITH. 

Ancient Melody harmonized by Dr. C. G. Verrinder. 



OXFORD: HORACE HART 
PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY 




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